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Norman's work will be featured exhibit

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The latest Dublin Arts Council exhibition, Char Norman: Forest Remnants, will feature sculptures made of wood recovered from local forests such as the piece, Forest Group, which was constructed with handmade paper, bark and sticks.
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Art at the latest exhibition at the Dublin Arts Council won't be too different from what's outside the Riverside Drive facility.

"Char Norman: Forest Remnants" will be displayed at the Arts Council, 7125 Riverside Drive, from Jan. 8 to Feb. 22 and takes inspiration from the outdoors.

"When I met with Char, what she said was that she was responding to the trees on the property and she created the exhibition exclusively for the arts council," DAC Executive Director David Guion said. "I was really surprised the work was going to, first of all, be new and she took the time to respond to the trees and nature of the property itself. It's a really exciting idea that she's directly responding to the scenery itself."

"I would describe it as fiber sculpture installation, referencing man's relationship with nature," Norman said of the exhibition.

Norman, Dean of Faculty at Columbus College of Art & Design, is a fiber artist who focuses on fiber sculptures and paper-making.

"I normally work with a natural element and the destruction of nature and environmental issues," she said.

Her recent work using items found in forests fits with the surroundings of the DAC.

"I've been working with mending nature," Norman said. "I've been putting part of trees together after storms. The art council looks out onto the river and the woods and with all the trees there, I thought it would be the perfect place to do an installation specifically of mended trees."

Norman's work usually consists of sculptures on pedestals, but the exhibition at the DAC will be different.

"The mended pieces are more freestanding, more akin to the trees you'd find in a forest or on a river bed. It's really a reaction to the land," she said.

Norman said she often walks a track of woods near her Northland home for supplies.

"I live by a tract of woods I hike in all the time," she said noting she found wood after Hurricane Ike and the derecho that blew through the state in June.

"I've taken pieces of trees that were dead and dying or knocked over to use the sculpture. I'm a paper-maker and I've incorporated handmade paper and fibers to complete the tree. When I say complete the tree, that's what I'm doing: I'm recreating a form of a tree from handmade paper and add it to bark I've taken from the woods."

Norman's work often returns to where it was found.

"Everything I use in my sculpture is biodegradable, " she said. "There are no chemicals or anything that would be harmful. I've taken a piece of nature and my idea is when the sculpture has lived its life, I would take it back to the woods to let it deteriorate and let it become part of the land.

"I hope to go back every few years and see if it has deteriorated."

The work to be displayed at the DAC will likely go back to the woods that neighbor Norman's home.

"It will be really fun to go back to the woods I walk in all the time and be able to watch it," she said.

"Char Norman: Forest Remnants" will open with an artist's reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 8. The reception is free and open to the public.

The exhibition is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, look online at dublinarts.org.

 

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