Horizon Lines: Paula Wallace & John Dennison
"An art theory class may stress the horizon line as the viewer’s eye level; the heft of every painting or photograph, pencil drawing or clay pot anchored by the gravity of scale. But it’s the poet Linda Pastan’s understanding I prefer - the line of light at the horizon is the hinge between earth and heaven. No painting comes off the easel without its own set of words – poetry, literature, lyrics from a melody, bits of conversation. As a painter, I balance on two stones in a stream of words – illustration and painting.
In the middle of the country, in prairie and field, the horizon line is sometimes part of the country overlooked, so vast is the dome of sky and cloud. While the horizon may give us our bearings, the dome is ever changing – the light, the cloud, the season, the storm.
It was another writer’s words that inspired a parallel body of work called, The Flood Plan. To paraphrase Marilynne Robinson from her book, Housekeeping, for anyone lost on the water, any hill is Ararat. Here my love of illustration takes on the story of Noah and the ancient flood narrative – and with it the horizon line is lost to water, is water. The oldest stories are at once prescient and abiding, with a fantastic eye for our fear and folly.
It is a delight to share the gallery with ceramic artist, John Dennison, whose work carries its own language, its own set of stories. Some of his pieces seem to defy the gravity of an imposed horizon line. The line can shift as one moves around a mask, touches a pot or pours from it. The horizon line is a hinge between what is functional and what is mystery. Isn’t that what art is supposed to do?" - Paula Wallace