Beth Dary

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Artist’s Statement

Bubbles of ancient CO2 captured in Arctic ice; mottled landscapes of mold that grew inside houses in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy; trails of fluid formed by the liquid contaminants in urban runoff – these phenomena represent nature in transition due to our culture’s impact on the environment.

The formations that manifest at such sites inspire me, in part because I have always lived at the water’s edge, from my childhood on Cape Cod to adult life in New Orleans and New York City. Hand blown glass sculptures evoke both bubbles in ice, and the fragility of the environment. A series of kinetic sculptures and wall drawings made of tiny black and white-headed pins borrow the patterns of mold in New Orleans after the floodwaters receded; a multi-channel video projected on to glass windows of a service station captures the chemical turbulence on the surface of puddles on the streets of New York, and an installation of over a thousand hand-built porcelain sculptures represents marine barnacles that will increasingly occupy coastal areas as our actions warm the globe and waters begin to rise.

Environments under stress are more than a thematic aspect of the work as the materials themselves have transitional qualities and are subject to interactive and evolutionary change. Ceramic sculptures are bisque-fired, without the final firing that would render them impermeable, leaving them porous and vulnerable. A series of blown glass “bubbles” installed in an outdoor urban lily pond take on water and algae as they become a part of the landscape, and reflect the world around them.

I explore the liminal space between nature untouched by human intervention and the “new nature” we create every day.

Beth Dary is originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and currently lives and works in New York City. Dary holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University and a Masters of Fine Arts from Memphis College of Art. She has participated in several artist residency programs including Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her work has been curated into exhibits at the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art in Russia, Satellite and Miami Project Art Fairs in Miami and Prospect 1.5 in New Orleans. Dary’s work has been commissioned by Battery Park City in Manhattan and she has received grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and The Manhattan Community Arts Fund. Her work is in several private and corporate collections, including the Edelman Corporation and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of eight books and chapbooks, including This Visit (Blazevox, 2015), How to be Another (Cervena Barva Press, 2014), and State of the Union (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014). Her ninth book, Heisenberg’s Salon, is available now for pre-order from Blazevox. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, and Verse Daily.