Elizabeth Perkins:

Inside Outside, Apart of Nature

Elizabeth Perkins in the hot shop 

Photo Credit: Andrei Florescu

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

 

-Wendell Berry

An Introduction

We are excited to bring you Inside Outside, Apart of Nature, the newest exhibition by Elizabeth Perkins. Perkins finds inspiration for her work through observation of the natural world. The exhibition explores ideas of our connection to nature, through patterns and textures found in nature, and how we continue to engage with nature during quarantine.

 

We rely on nature for a multitude of reasons, from the technology advancement created through biomimicry to walking in its beauty to root ourselves in our environment. Perkins's collections highlight some of these moments, for example Symbioses seeks balance between objects, just as we search for balance in our lives. Autumn/Harvest originally created to express our connection to agriculture and food, has been reconfigured to a cell/diatom formation, sharing our evolution of and ever changing relationship to nature. The Cells collection feels particularly timely, while strikingly beautiful in shape and color palette, they are based on design of a virus and disease. Just as we all continue to navigate life in a pandemic, it is still important to find the beauty in the everyday. 

 

In an attempt to bring you a more immersive exhibition, we have also incorporated poetry, meditation, video, and sound to captivate all your senses and transport you directly into the Gallery. Perkins's work is cultivated through and influenced by writings and imagery, which are shared and scattered through the exhibition to provide more insight into her process.

 

Following the virtual walk through, we invite you to explore and find your own meaning within the individual moments and collections below. All items for sale unless otherwise noted; for inquiries email: info@spaceatmagnuson.org.

 

The Walk Through

Click play below to watch this walk through of Perkins’s work within the Gallery. Take a deeper dive into each collection, or moment, below.

Moment 1: Symbioses

Symbioses 

Scientists have long studied the relationships between organisms. Whether it be mutualistic or parasitic we are all reliant on other organisms for survival. In these pieces Perkins looks to create balance and build mutually beneficial, or symbiotic, relationships among the individual elements. The end result are these beautiful minimalist pieces that can be worn on their own, or layered to create your own ecosystem.

For more information:​

  • A writing which influenced the creation of Symbioses: Parallels by David Whyte; Text Link

Parallels Audio Recording

Gallery above: Symbioses collection

Click arrows to see images, click gallery to enlarge images

Moment 2: Counterparts

Image above: Counterparts inspiration

Photo credit: unknown, found postcard

Gallery left: Counterparts collection

Click arrows to see images, click gallery to enlarge images

Counterparts

In Counterparts, Perkins captures a subtly deserving of their inspiration, the moon and sea depicted in these sea and moon scapes. Each piece of glass is delicately scribed or embellished with gold or silver leaf to a stunning result. The twelve pieces in this collection, one for each month, share moments of tranquility and beauty between these often opposing forces seeking to find balance.

*If whole collection is purchased together, %10 will be taken off total

 

Moment 3: Inside-out, Outside-in; Mountain Mover

Inside-out, Outside-in; Mountain Mover

Inside-out, Outside-in; Mountain Mover is an installation piece, which explores the idea of all that we are and all that we reveal. What I find so intriguing is her use of materials and metaphor in this piece. We have the veil or curtain with the mountain drawing, which gives a sense of security and strength as we hid. As we look closer, we see the branches, which have had their bark removed just as the outer layers begin to be removed as we share more of ourselves. At the center of this piece is a wooden chair. Creating a supportive shape that we have built within ourselves from the exposed branches. The movement of the fan reveals the beauty we carved out to become, but often keep shielded from the world and others in moments of clarity and confidence. 

*Note: 70% of proceeds to Landmark Forum participants 

 

For more information:​

  • A writing which influenced the creation of this piece: Self -Knowledge by David Whyte; Text Link

Self Knowledge Audio Recording
  • A meditation which helped influence the creation of this piece by Palouse Mindfulness, adapted from Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mountain Meditation; Text Link

Mountain Meditation Auadio Recording

Video of Inside-out, Outside-in; Mountain Mover recorded within the Gallery

Video credit: Magnuson Park Gallery

$5000.00

Image above: detail of mountain drawing on curtain

Gallery above: Harvest Autumn

Click arrows to see images, click gallery to enlarge images

Moment 4: Harvest/Autumn

A Word from the Artist

The term ‘Harvest’ originates from the Old English word hærfest, meaning ‘Autumn’. It then came to refer to the season for reaping and gathering grain and other grown products from the land. This piece was formerly titled, I love America, and in a completely different configuration which represented the end or side of a haybale and spoke about the American landscape and agricultural country side. In the new reiteration the heart of the haybale/America has been removed. It is re-presented in an abstract form more like an elliptical shaped simple cell diatom. Here the macro becomes micro and a stand in for re-examination. While as an artist I do feel a sense of completion in works, I unlike many artists enjoy breathing life back into old works to make a new. What resonates, changes for me. It is common to expand on themes and use former components, re-configure, or make new relevant meanings from older artworks or parts from them. 

I am the daughter of a dairy farming family on my father’s side and a tobacco farming family on my mother’s side. While earning my MFA, I took stewardship of my late grandfathers’s 350-acre farm. Tending and creating there made me the seventh generation in my family to do so since 1785. I feel a deep connection to my farming family’s approach to living: 
 

  • We nurture and grow with hard work. 

  • With an openness to the organic unpredictable nature of life and adversity we persevere. 

  • We solve problems by informed know-how, intuition, and ingenuity; we cleverly borrow from one application/material to another making us masters of re-use and re-invention. 

  • We recognize possibility and potential, try new things, learn, and innovate. 

  • Through a labor of love, we expand to make new from old and innovate. 

  • Connect and care for others and nature- commune and preserve.

Harvest/Autumn

Harvest/Autumn is all about bringing new life. This piece, originally created to honor Perkins's agricultural roots, depicted a circular haybale. Returning to it, Perkins has reconfigured the piece, finding new intension as a cell like structure. The expansion into this elliptical orientation is reminiscent of meiosis, or the dividing into two cells, sharing the replication and continuation of new life, not just for a cell, but also for this bold statement piece. 

*Note: 10% of the proceeds of this piece will be donated to Northwest Harvest

Image above:Harvest/Autumn inspiration

Photo credit: unknown, found postcard

Moment 5: Stick Stone

Gallery above: Stone

Click arrows to see images, click gallery to enlarge images

Gallery above: Stick

Click arrows to see images, click gallery to enlarge images

Stick

Stone

Through Perkins’s works Stick and Stone we take an opportunity to breath and settle in. As we often have that relaxing breath in the quiet calm of nature, we experience those moments in the open form spaces created in these pieces. Reminiscent of stippling, Perkins pushes the tradition in a modern direction, using multiple styles of mark making, directionality, and color, while also repeating this idea of micro informing macro and vice versa found throughout this exhibition.

Image above: Stick and Stone inspiration

Photo credit: unknown, found postcard

Gallery above: Cells

Click arrows to see images, click gallery to enlarge images

Image right: Cells inspiration

Photo credit: unknown, found postcard

Moment 6: Cells

Cells

There are a number of statement pieces in this exhibition, but I continue to return to Cells, time and time again. The rich warm glow created by the back lighting transport the viewer into the body. The design on each lozenge inspired by virus and cancer cells reminds us that the battle can be beautiful.

 

*Note: 10% of proceeds go to Cancer Lifeline

To see more of this collection: Click Here

Moment 7: Tumblers

Tumblers

 

Tumblers is an installation prototype of a larger sculptural piece being offered. The quilt and paper mockette have been included as inspiration, helping to shape the direction for the final piece. Perkins once again uses smaller repeated patterns to create a larger identity for the subject, leveraging the symbolism of vessels to represent the idea of empty and full, opportunity, both optimistic and pessimistic. The final installation would allow for light to travel through the glasses onto a wall, to allow the cast reflections to blend and change based on surrounding colors, time of day, or season. 

Gallery right: Tumblers

Click arrows to see images, click gallery to enlarge images

Moment 8: Bone Compsition

Bone Composition

 

In this final piece Bone Composition, we have a series of 6 pieces created with hot drawn gold duro fused to beveled onyx and stone flat glass. The pieces once again touch on this idea of duality, life and death, and renewal. In the depiction of bones, we are faced with death, but the beautiful arrangement brings new life to these elements, just as the bones will continue to provide nutrients into the soil to support new growth.

Gallery right: Bone Composition

Click arrows to see images, click gallery to enlarge images

Learn More

Elizabeth Perkins in the hot shop 

Photo Credit: Andrei Florescu

Want to Purchase a Piece?

To purchase any of the works found in this show reach out directly to info@spaceatmagnuson.org. Prices listed do not include tax and shipping fees, free pick-up at Gallery can be arranged.

See our Facebook Live opening event, if you missed it, click HERE.

If you are interested in seeing the exhibition in person, contact the Gallery at info@spaceatmagnuson.org for more information or to schedule an appointment. Due to Covid-19 regulations, conditions for entry apply, appointment confirmation required.

All images credited to Elizabeth Perkins or the Magnuson Park Gallery unless otherwise noted.

Audio recordings produced and read by SPACE 101.1 DJ John "Johnny Lignite" Lehman. To learn more about Jonny's show "Up the River" or SPACE 101.1, click HERE.

More About the Artist:

Elizabeth Perkins

Support

During times of financial and economic hardship, the arts are often the first to get cut. If you value local art and music, please consider making a donation so we can continue to make a place for the arts in NE Seattle. 70% of all art sales made in association with this exhibition will go directly to the exhibiting artists with the remainder going to support the operations of the Magnuson Park Gallery and SPACE 101.1 FM .

Harvest/Autumn on white sheet