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Incipient Speciation: Feral Seed Sculpture by Gar Waterman


January 18, 2019 @ 11:00 am
March 9, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

Mystic Museum of Art presents a solo exhibition of the works of Gar Waterman.
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 24, 2019, 5:30 – 7pm

A childhood spent exploring the woods and shores of the Maine coast was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with nature, which took an exotic turn with a year spent in French Polynesia when I was nine years old. This was the first of many experiences I would have working in documentary film above and below the ocean’s surface, but the lush tropical landscape and hydrodynamic curves of marine life I first observed some 50 years ago in Tahiti remain the foundation of my visual vocabulary as an artist. As I sought to establish a pattern language of my own, early influences included Karl Blossfeldt’s extraordinary photographs, which taught me to look at design in nature in an entirely new way.

Seeds in particular hold an enduring fascination for me.  Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Cause and effect, means and end, seed and fruit, cannot be severed – the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed…”  Emerson touches on that mysterious ambiguity unique to seeds – they are indeed both beginning and end, each a perfect encapsulation of a given life form, dormant until circumstance initiates the next life cycle and the plant’s mature form is revealed. The initial shoot that emerges upon germination is called a cotyledon. Many of my seed sculptures reflect this pivotal moment of growth as a seed splits open and new life emerges from within. I call these sculptures ‘Feral Seeds’, a nod to the fact that nature will out despite mankind’s best efforts to control her.

Speciation is the process by which new species evolve, and incipient speciation describes the ability of new species to interbreed prior to their gene pools becoming too disparate. Making art is a similar process of ongoing evolution – fresh inspiration constantly recombining with established patterns in pursuit of a particular creative path. ‘Incipient Speciation’ includes sculptures that are decades old as well as work that was finished just last month. All share a common gene pool, and all reflect the infinite recombinant capacity of the natural forms that inspire them.

– Gar Waterman, 2018

Persian White Feral Seed. Onyx, 32 x 29 x 8 in.

Click here to view catalogue.