Waiting, Watching, Being is an exhibition of collaborative and singular works by father/daughter artists, sculptor Charlie Brouwer and painter Jennifer L. Collins.
From a technical perspective the works are not only beautiful and expertly executed, but complement one another seamlessly. The collaborative works meld together the artists’ visions into a singular creation.
The art in this exhibition tells a story, while simultaneously asking questions. The house format can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. The repetition of the house form, in the same scale and placement in close juxtaposition, calls to mind the way in which many of us live today, a suburban existence rather than rural. Yet, each house’s interior is unique suggesting that it is who lives in a house that creates a “home.” In addition to this literal interpretation, the home can be seen as a reference to our bodies, which we inhabit until such a time when we are forced to move elsewhere.
The ladders, stars, and houses, taken in unison, point to our universal curiosity of that outside ourselves: the difference between the known and the unknown. Brouwer reminds us in “Stars Surround Us” that we can see stars 10 billion light years away, yet they are an unfathomable distance from us.
Collins and Brouwer’s works ask us to stop for a moment and reflect upon our surroundings and our relationships to them. Collins’ monumental painting “Pause” directs our attention up and outside the picture plane. Is it our future or are the participants in the painting merely taking a moment out of their busy lives to pause and notice their environment? Collins freezes ephemeral moments in time in “The Hike” and “The Alien,” inviting us to examine our own fleeting experiences more closely.
The multiple ladders in Brouwer’s sculptures, such as “All Things That Rise” and “As Long as There is Light,” suggest not only the higher aspirations of humankind, but may also allude to the possibility of differing paths we may take in life. The ladder also represents the struggles inherent in life, the possibility of falling and the uncertainty of what lies at the top.
Alexandra Sherman, Curator