The Art Museum of Southeast Texas presents two dynamic exhibitions showcasing artwork depicting various multifaceted and complex pieces. “Dornith Doherty: Oasis” and “Celia Eberle: In the Garden of Ozymandias” will be on view through Jan. 4.
Dornith Doherty: Oasis
This exhibition documents two international seed banks with microscopic precision and ethereal beauty. Focusing on X-rays at seed bank facilities where research is conducted and routinely used for viability assessments of accessioned seeds, Doherty documents and subsequently collages the seeds and tissue samples that are maintained in these research collections.
The amazing visual power of magnified x-ray images, which springs from the technology’s ability to record what is invisible to the human eye, illuminates her considerations not only of the complex philosophical, anthropological, and ecological issues surrounding the role of science and human agency in relation to gene banking, but also of the poetic questions about life and time on a macro and micro scale. Doherty is struck by the power of these tiny plantlets and seeds (many are the size of a grain of sand) which generate life and endure the time span central to the process of seed banking.
“As landscapes around the world become more arid due to climate change, seed banks play an important role in ensuring the future survival of our plant life and food supply,” states Doherty. “These facilities can be regarded as a type of oasis; a verdant island surrounded by desert which provides a safe place of refuge and rejuvenation.”
Oasis is part of a larger project, “Archiving Eden,” which Doherty has been working on since 2008 in an ongoing collaboration with renowned biologists at seed banks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Norway, Australia and Brazil.
Celia Eberle: In the Garden of Ozymandias
Also on view is In the Garden of Ozymandias, which will include a selection of Celia Eberle’s surreal mixed media sculpture of diverse and mesmerizing materials highlighting the basic nature of the human experience. Her media, which include animal bones, wire, marble, jasper, agate, wood, coral, brass, newsprint, cardboard and other found objects communicate the artist’s quirky imagination with technical proficiency in a myriad of materials.
For more than two decades, she has drawn on an expanded concept of explanatory mythology in an effort to understand many complex phenomena concerning the human condition. She chooses imagery based either on its ubiquity or the pervasiveness of an attendant idea. Over the years, she has used many mediums and approaches to tackle this core issue. “In the Garden of Ozymandias” is a survey of these efforts.
AMSET is located at 500 Main in downtown Beaumont.
For more information, visit www.amset.org or call 409-832-3432.