REGENERATION is an exhibition of works by North Fork artist Ted Thirlby that acknowledges the renewed existence and unexpected spirituality of a commonly disregarded construction material with a musing collection of plywood paintings and impressions on paper.
The exhibition runs March 25 – May 6, 2023, simultaneously in two galleries:
EEA Art Gallery 133 E. Main St., Riverhead
11 West Gallery 11 W. Main St., Peconic Crossing, Riverhead
I paint on pieces of scavenged, deteriorating plywood. I think of them as rescues, and I am deeply aware of the living being that was once a tree; that it was used, maybe abused, and then abandoned.
On one level my impulse to do this work is a direct emotional response to these discarded objects. On another level, the work engages with the complex experience of living in a shared environment, where human activity has a great impact on the elemental world.
As I begin my process, I honor that the plywood pieces are already fully loaded with their own energy and history. I am moved by their inherent beauty, and in the process of working with them, I feel that I am gently bringing some intention to all of their histories. This is a process of respect, re-use, resurrection, and perhaps redemption.
The plywood scraps are also used to make inked impressions on paper. The resulting images reveal their latent energy; indeterminate landscapes, ambiguous emerging figures, and celestial worlds.
These are evocations of spirit, rebirth, and fertility. To make images with these discarded objects is to learn that they have their own power and agenda and to recognize that they communicate with us in mysterious and subliminal ways.