Il Paradiso: Imagining the Eternal
As we continue to bear witness to a suffering world torn asunder by contagion and the seeming worst of human failings, the need for some relief, specifically aimed to soothe our troubled souls, becomes paramount. It is to this calling that Equity Gallery stages a juried exhibition of artworks that aspire to a paradisiacal idyll, a higher place of virtuous delight---an eternity untainted.
Historically this imagined terrestrial abode has been depicted as a garden of innocent and sensuous delight. Taking this motif as a starting point, artists Camilla Fallon, Brooks Frederick, and Constance N. Stancell displays works that depict flowers, a mainstay subject for artists seeking to depict fleeting beauty and the concurrent mythological and religious undertow that temporality and fragility engender. As a prevalent and prolific genre, one can trace art historical developments, and their ascendant motives and expressions, with flower art --from works that embody enlightenment philosophies to those seeking to capture the scintillating light of a summer day.
Daniel Peddle, Evie Richner, and Susan Stillman embrace landscape motifs and frame the oft overlooked oases that exist out our backdoors and bedroom windows. Karen Kertesz-Sklar, Iris Hu, and Kathy Creutzburg disavow the temporal, and with sublime imagery signal an interior journey ushered by mediation and dreams.
As an ensemble, Il Paradiso’s collection of artworks, with a focus on flowers, botanicals, and the untamed wilderness both within and without, offers a powerful and seductive display of decorative effects and archaic symbolism that signify prosperity, rebirth, healing, and love itself. As such, Il Paradiso functions as a repudiation, commentary, and a reprieve from the follies of our current anthropocene age. Our world and our time, as did the world and its times of crisis before us, needs a bit of heaven and a lot more love. Il Paradiso offers us a glimpse.