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Rocks, Trees and Trucks


Rocks, Trees and Trucks: Judith Heller Cassell and Suzanne Pretty opened June 18 and ran through September 3, 2016 at Emporium Framing and Gallery in South Berwick, Maine. This collection of collagraphs, tapestry and multimedia works by Heller Cassell and Pretty deal with land and our impact.

Heller Cassell states, "I think our past, our experiences, shape us and make us the people we are and the people we become. Artists are particularly sensitive to life’s happenings and sooner or later our lives are reflected in our work whether through conscious decisions or subconscious intervening.

Drawing in the dirt was one of my earliest memories. I remember the warmth of the sun on my back, the feel of the soil as it separated beneath my fingers, and the thrill of the magic that formed those images that came from some unknown self. I continue to be enthralled when an image in my head mergers with one in my heart and something is created that expresses the emotions I feel.Precarious, Red, White, Blue

I tend to work in series, usually exploring everything I feel and want to convey about a subject before moving on. For this body of work, I have used two collagraph plates and images pulled from these plates.  I cut, tore apart , and reassembled to create nine  new pieces. With this work, I attempted to convey feelings of entrapment, unease, mystery, darkness and/or beauty. If the viewer sees beyond the layers of imagery and experiences what I have strived to convey, I will have been successful."

Pretty states: "The thread of the environment and its fragmentation runs through my work. I work with the hard edge modern world with the technology, glitz and glitter juxtaposed to the natural environment. The struggle between these worlds is one of contrast and conflict.

My images are drawn from the everyday world around me: the beautiful forest, mountains and rivers and the encroaching development with the heavy powerful equipment.  Pristine areas bisected and bulldozed for development and bisected with highways of trucks and heavy equipment.

Construction Trucks and heavy equipment imagery are elements I have used frequently in my work as icons. The bright colors in this series take the images out of the everyday setting. In contrast the heavy equipment contains the incredible power to rip through and destroy the landscape.

In the multi media piece Construction the trees being are being removed and the landscape bulldozed for a shopping mall to be built. More and more forest land is disappearing to development. These are the scenes we drive by everyday and don’t see."

Barricado (top right), Judith Heller Cassell, collagraphs with bob wire

Precarious, Red, White, Blue (middle right) , Judith Heller Cassell, collagraphs with sand

Construction (lower right ) Suzanne Pretty, multimedia