Suffolk gallery features works from parts of nature

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Shealagh Sullivan

Michelle Samour’s drawings displayed at “Poetic Botany: Artists and Plants.”

The Suffolk University’s Gallery’s latest exhibition, “Poetic Botany: Artists and Plants,” explored the intersection between art and nature.

The gallery, located on the 6th floor of the Sawyer Building, displayed the exhibit from March 1 to April 23.

Artists Beth Galston, Ann Wessmann, Jenine Shereos and Michelle Samour were featured in the gallery, displaying various mediums. From photographs and botanic drawings to leaves constructed from human hair, there was something for every art lover to appreciate.

Walking through the gallery seems synonymous with a breath of fresh air, as viewers are surrounded by depictions of nature.

Each artists’ work aims to encapsulate and explore different themes and emotions often connected with nature. Galston, Wessmann and Samour have been displayed in the gallery in previous exhibits.

Galton’s “Leaf Prints,” an ongoing series, pictures large images of leaves, portraying what is often left amiss by the human eye and exposing the intricate appearance of decay.

Galston’s magnified images of decaying leaves take up the entirety of the farthest wall, surrounded by Sheros’ images of flowers trapped in ice and her “Ephemeral Garden Series.” This series displays flowers in an otherwise vacant room created during her art residency in France.

Shereos was inspired by the intricate delicacy of leaves to stitch and knot together strands of hair to create life-like portrayals of various leaves.

On the opposite end of the gallery, Wessmann’s delicate and abstract works of tulip stamens are mounted and arranged with insect pins and twigs woven together to draw the viewer in. Her pieces explore the themes of time and memory.

Samour’s botanic drawings from her recent series, “Adaptation,” reference early drawings from history. The drawings are based on and illustrate direct observation of the interior and exteriors of assorted plants.

Gallery Director Deborah Davidson said she was inspired by the environment as a whole, as well as the climate crisis when creating the exhibit. When looking for artists and works to display, she said that she was drawn to their unique use of organic materials.

“[The artists] are all showing quite different work from what they otherwise do,” Davidson said. “They’re using the actual material, the natural material, to make the artwork.”

COVID-19 protocols were taken seriously, assured Davidson. The gallery was only open to the Suffolk community, and an appointment was required to visit. 

A virtual tour is also located on the gallery’s website, for those that missed the display.

The next exhibit in the gallery will explore portraiture, be broken into two parts and feature student artwork. It will open on June 14.

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