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Environmentalist Exhibition at the Granoff Center

Brown Art Review curates student show

On The Hill
On The Hill
Environmentalist Exhibition at the Granoff Center
Derin Akdurak

Derin Akdurak

Date
December 5, 2022
Read
1 Min

Centered on reimagining the environment and intertwining it with the artist’s own memories, the new exhibition organized by members of BEAR is on show at the fourth floor of the Granoff Center of Arts. Displaying works from multiple artists, such as Camilla Watson and Nicholas Sanzi, the exhibition features works using different mediums and materials. While Watson showcases a set of four small gouache paintings and Sanzi an ink drawing, the exhibition also features a set of two large paintings with interesting materials such as acrylic, wood, and plastic.

 Rooms by Watson consists of four illustrations that suggest an alternative connection between people and the environment, “bringing the outside inside”. Each piece describes a different room of the apartment she grew up in, and connects with different themes such as memory, abandonment, and longing. The artist describes how she grew up surrounded by nature and how the idea of being reclaimed by nature has shaped her conception of “home”. She envisions her home as being taken over by mother nature in a continuous force of transformation, rather than a barren, emotionless place.

Goodnight, Moon by Sanzi is a work done entirely of ink that reminisces on a nickname given to him by his friends from Block Island. In his words, his nickname “moon” emerged from a work experience over the summer. “After clocking off a 12 hour shift at our restaurant, something about seeing a giant red moon emerge over the ocean begged me to shout “Goodnight moon!” walking out the exit. For the past two summers, I have had the unique privilege of calling the rolling hills and steep cliffs of Block Island my home. When I boarded the ferry for the last time, I knew it was the end of an expository chapter in my life. I was not the young unassuming boy that had once taken a chance on a kitchen job on an island, but someone that boy might not fully recognize, more mature and attune to the virtues and vices of manual labor, love, and adulthood.I learned that work can make any paradise burdensome, and that the sight of the moon on a quiet night can serve as a reminder that just maybe, it all isn’t that serious anyway.” His work illustrates this process of transition, growing out of a simpler time that one might long to go back to. With a basis of a blind contour self-portrait, the illustration depicts the quiet descent of the moon from the view on Block Island. Small details such as the foremost cottage, in which the artist spent most of his time off-work, as well as the elements of harbors, houses, hotels and the restaurant are also included in the work.

This exhibition also speaks to the larger role of environmentalism at Brown. The University’s pledge to become a carbon-zero institution by 2040 and cut its emissions by 75% by 2025 is a matter of heated debate on campus. The Brown Daily Herald has reported on this goal multiple times. The larger theme of environmentalism and how it speaks to personal memory connects with the emotions of many students who call Brown a second home.

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