In the Gallery
Beyond The Shore: What Lies Beneath
January 20 – February 28, 2019
Reception: February 11, 5:30PM
“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.” – Kahlil Gibran
The current series of monotypes by Suzanne Stokes, explores water as substance, metaphoric allusion, and forms a collective narrative that addresses mankind’s complicated relationship to this essential natural resource. Through the divergent lenses of micro and macro perspectives, she examines the nature of existence and its relationship to water on physical and metaphysical planes. Water means life. We are in a time period of our environmental history where the human race must fully embrace and embody this fact. Earth is the only known planet in this universe that has water and life. Water is the lifeblood of our bodies, our economy, our nation and our well-being.
The integration and interaction of the figures with water, in the monotypes, looks at how the interplay of relationships, spiritualism, and stewardship of the earth shapes our modern world.
“Water is the driving force of all nature.” -Leonardo da Vinci
These visual investigations focus on how light and shadow defines, reveals, and conceals the form of various flora and fauna of the sea with the human body and its surrounding environments. Through this imagery Stokes hopes to create implied voices and sounds that come to the forefront, recede to the background: outbursts, whisperings, laughter, secrets and the amplified and muffled rumblings of living bodies of water. While some creatures observe, the sounds of a figure soaring towards the sky or rushing through deep water while riding on a large squid emerge. A series of tableaus come to light between generations of humans, animals and plants, between scale, color and texture.
A variety of printmaking, papermaking and embossing techniques are combined with the press to print monotypes made from a series of layered vellum stencils and natural materials. The monotypes are embossed with a wide variety of plants from the Hudson Valley’s local forests and Maine’s mid-coast Atlantic Ocean.
Suzanne Stokes lives and creates her work in New York’s Hudson Valley, specifically in Bloomington. Her installations, monotypes and performance work have been shown locally, nationally and internationally. She began making prints in 2011 and explored papermaking and embossing soon after. In 1992, she founded and became the artistic director of the theatrical, shadow-based performance group Cave Dogs. There she fills a multitude of roles, including those of lighting designer and technician, performer, choreographer, and prop, costume and set designer and maker. Stokes received her BFA from Kent State University, OH and her MFA from SUNY New Paltz, NY; both Fine Art degrees were a concentration in Metals. Born and raised in Kent, OH, Stokes is currently a Professor in the Art Department at SUNY New Paltz, NY. As an ardent advocate for strong, community-based arts environments, she was a WSW Board member for 7 years, volunteers for O+ in Kingston, NY, and sing with three women’s ensembles, the Resisterhood, in New Paltz, and Bloom, and the B2’s, in Rosendale, NY.
She has led workshops, lectured at a variety of places and performed with Cave Dogs at venues including: Sibikwa Arts Centre, The Centre for the Less Good Idea (founded by William Kentridge) both in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Reykjavik Fringe Festival in Iceland, The Academy for Untamed Creativity and The Academy for Modern Circus both in Copenhagen, Denmark, The Skissernaus Museum in Lund, Sweden, and the Malmo Festivalen in Sweden, The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, NY, Alfred University in NY, the Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY the Walkway Over the Hudson, and Fringe Festivals in NYC, Rochester, New Orleans, Portland, ME. She has received grants from Arts Mid- Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY, and multiple grants from the Jim Henson Foundation, NY, and Franklin Furnace, NY.