Wood Nymphs

Wood Nymph, 1999, fiberglass, resin, oil paint, 108”x96”x34”
Blue, 2006, fiberglass, aqua resin, acrylic paint, 86”x48”
Wood Nymph, 1999, fiberglass, resin, oil paint, 108”x96”x34”
Chlorophylia (For a World Without Color), 2017, thermoplastic, apoxie clay, paper pulp, 96”x72” diameter

In early August, the University of Maine’s Zillman Art Museum welcomed works by painter and sculptor JoAnne Carson. Known for her seriocomic style, Carson’s pieces are an ethereal interpretation of elements in nature. An eight-foot sculpture titled Chlorophylia (For a World Without Color) is a ghostly figure that anchors the exhibition. Oversized pale flowers and branches stretch toward the ceiling; the light-bleached plant and flower species throughout resemble hydrangeas and large textured roses, among others. In a trompe l’oeil–style piece called Wood Nymph, a multi-armed female figure emerges from a nine-foot log, spinning pies on her fingertips—a modern portrayal of how the role of women is often defined as homemaker, muse, and force of nature. Another work, titled Blue, is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’s colorful, whimsical creations. From an electric blue stalk with four curved legs sprout stylized, flattened leaves and pom-pom flowers. “Exhibited together, these works orchestrate a chorus of invented forest creatures that aspire to transport viewers to a magical, imaginative woodland,” a press release states. The exhibition is on view until December 23, and admission to the museum is free through the remainder of 2020 thanks to the generosity of Deighan Wealth Advisors.

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