Owen James Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of “Fire Season”, Karen Marston’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.
Karen Marston is a painter who is known for her beautiful images that portray the awesome power of Mother Nature. These environmental outbursts, such as hurricanes or volcanic eruptions, show the dynamism embedded within this planet. They also serve as warnings of the exacerbating effects climate change is introducing to the balance.
The exhibition is focused on a single theme from Marston’s ongoing series: forest fires. Looking at these images, one is immediately reminded of the ravaging devastation that fires brought to California the last several years. In fact, many of the images are based on photographs of those huge infernos. Originally from California, the threat and destruction of the forest fires is quite a personal one for the artist. As in all her images, there is very little trace of humanity in these paintings. There is a glimpse of a burning electrical tower’s silhouette in one, a section of paved road in another. Marston’s subject, clearly, is Nature itself. This planet’s environment was here long before humans, and (most likely) will be here long after.
Fire is a particularly interesting phenomenon to focus on. It is quite Shiva-like, both a destroyer as well as a bringer of rebirth in its wake. Fire moves in mysterious ways, glowing and growing with intense brilliance. These are facets that Marston has managed to capture adroitly. The fires can also be seen as a parable for our current times. While the threat to our climate has been dire for quite some time, the callousness of the recent U.S. administration has only made matters worse. Whether it is the opening of Federal lands to oil companies, or pulling out of international climate treaties, our government has only poured more fuel onto the fire. However, forest fires are also cleansing. In their wake they leave open ground ripe for change and allow the sun to illuminate that which was previously overgrown.
The artist will be in attendance at the gallery Saturday January January 23rd (from 2-5 PM) to meet with visitors and discuss her work.