Mel Watkin sets nature free in Reclamation, an exhibition featuring works on paper and a new wall painting. Using worn road maps as her canvas, Watkin manipulates the traveled features and floods them with water waves or overgrown invented plant life. The title “reclamation” refers to the process of land restoration – turning land into nature parks once they are expended of natural resources – enforced by the EPA on strip mining companies. Is the topography depicted in these works taken from the past or is it a prophecy for the future? Forceful vegetation and entwined bodies of water activate these engorged compositions while questioning the definition of landscape and its use. p(callout). Forceful vegetation and entwined bodies of water activate these engorged compositions while questioning the definition of landscape and its use. The artist will also introduce a new large-scale wall drawing made specifically for the Art Center. The exhibition will showcase Watkin’s intricate image of swooshing sea water embedded with billowing flowers, tentacles and other ominous fauna.
About Mel Watkin
Mel Watkin currently lives and works in southern Illinois and has been working in painting, collage and drawing for over 30 years. She was recently commissioned to create a public artwork for the St. Louis Bike Trail, and exhibited a one-person show at the Salina Art Center in Kansas. The artist’s work is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NY), Fogg Museum of Art (MA), and the School of the Art Institute (IL), in addition to many other private and public collections.