Works are natural healers for artist

"Trophy Series: Mount #11," (detail) basswood, Styrofoam, poly-fiber, caulk and oil finish, 2008, Rachelle Dowdy

     (PNAN-AK) –  On Saturday, April 1 at the Anchorage Museum, Fairbanks artist Rachelle Dowdy makes her first appearance with “Juggernauts,” an exhibition of sculpture which explores the union of natural world with mankind. The show is part of the Patricia B. Wolf Solo Exhibition Series and will stay on view through May 22.

      “Rachelle’s work is a compelling combination of organic and industrial,” said Chief Curator Julie Decker. “The work is both direct and complex in its relationship with nature and the way it reveals the artist’s personal narrative.”

     Dowdy’s sister, Heather died in a car crash in 2000 that was caused by a drunk driver, which was not only a transforming experience personally, but also for her as an artist, where she began creating sculptures for the series, “Baby Ravens,” one that addresses her grief and fear of birds.

“Baby Raven in Nails," steel, nails and oil finish, 33x13x26, 2010, Rachelle Dowdy

     “I was inspired by these fetal ravens that were just mouth and fuzz, ugly things. They were always screaming,” Dowdy said. “They were self-portraits, a metaphor for how I was feeling.”

     The artist adheres to the belief that humans frequently view nature as a destructive force (juggernaut) to be controlled, when in actuality the destroyers are often us. Dowdy’s works gives physical form to these dualities through sculptures of animals and animal-human hybrids, often mounted to mimic hunters’ trophies. As the daughter of a junkyard owner, she naturally gravitates toward construction materials such as plywood, concrete and nails.

      With a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from the University of Alaska, Dowdy has also earned a Rasmuson Foundation Fellowship. In addition, her work is held in many collections, including the Anchorage Museum, and her most recent, “From Here to There and There to Here” is at the Ted Stevens International Airport, an installation of a dozen oversized geese “flying” the length of Concourse B. Another work is at the Key Bank Plaza in front of the downtown Starbucks with a fox, black bear, moose and Canada goose, all with human torsos and legs.

Published by on March 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide, At the Museums dept, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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