Sohns Gallery is exhibiting work by Peter Walls in its current show, “Retreat, Shape of Land, Shape of Water,” which runs through Nov. 7.
While there is no reception, Walls will be onsite at the Bangor Art Walk on Oct. 1.
In the artist’s own words:
This whole pandemic thing has me “awaiting the second shoe to drop,” and I know many of you also listen attentively for such sounds, too. The pandemic hit hard and fast, paralyzing millions while forcing us to rethink what and who we are, where we live, and how we relate to one another. One thing I did pay close attention to was the retreat from “hot spots,” from cities, from the fear of contracting an illness still not fully understood. Maine slowly filled with vehicles and the many, many passengers within, all looking to find space to breathe, locate their 6 feet of personal landscape.
I too retreated to these landscapes, sometimes by car but mostly by turning inward and drawing upon memory of landscape(s) and places I have been. Daily rituals of painting these landscapes in small watercolors eased my personal worries and allowed me to be able to spend time with ones I loved. This is and always has been my medicine.
Eventually these cerebral retreats to the landscape became larger and more intense with painting on scrap plywood, cutting away the detritus, shaping MY landscape. Each work began to have their own personalities and were obviously fragments of something larger in my mind.
As a graduate student at LSU in Baton Rouge, our print-workshop was delegated a small dark below grade space shared with the now underused, quite dusty, yet alluring Natural History Museum. I would spend countless hours in the museum drawing inspiration and creating artwork, escaping to my inner world. These memories inspired my current idea of putting together, curating, all of these pandemic fragments, not unlike the museum displays I remember so well. I offer up this exhibition as a glimpse into my Pandemic retreat and what it has taught me thus far.
Sohns Gallery is at 36 Central St., Bangor. Call 207-947-2205 for mored information.