Willmar Art Gallery
The Art Gallery is located in Building F on the upper level.
For more information contact:
Betsy Byers – Migration
Willmar Campus until December 21st, 2018
Hutchinson Campus: January 14th – February 15th, 2019
Betsy Ruth Byers presents “Migration” on the Willmar campus until December 21st. Her large-scale Oil paintings and small watercolors illustrate an amazing dialogue about landscape, climate change, and the terrible beauty of melting glaciers.
My studio practice explores the engagement of the body’s senses with the surrounding environment. The work births from potent encounters with the natural world, anchored in the relationship between perception, landscape, and cultural consciousness. Painting requires a delicate balance between observation and action. For me, it is a meditation on the complicated relationship between our bodies and the landscapes we inhabit.
Generally influenced by Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s idea of the “primacy of perception,” through the process of painting, I attempt to harness a kinesthetic understanding of our body in space. I aim to capture an embodied awareness and connectedness to materiality, light and pressure that we all possess, but at times fail to recognize amidst the background noise. Responding to the corporeal activity of laying paint on canvas, I activate its abilities by scraping, expanding, mixing, and overlapping layers. Interweaving the psychological space and materiality of paint, I search for reciprocity between the boundaries of real and imagined; subjective and objective; intimacy and immensity; self and other.
The paintings in the gallery derive from two bodies of work that explore change in place over time. The act of painting itself manipulates time allowing me to transpose multiple perspectives into a singular, abstracted space. Prioritizing the interaction of color, surface and mark as integral to the outcome of my work, the progression of each painting draws on the movements of water, landforms, snow and ice to highlight altered landscapes. Utilizing paint to mimic geologic processes such as erosion, melt and flow, my paintings seek to intertwine past and present events.