Losing Ground

Melissa Doherty
August 29, 2019 to October 12, 2019

Latcham Art Centre is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Kitchener-Waterloo artist Melissa Doherty. Beyond the first impressions of her masterfully rendered trees and aerial views of lush forested sites, her paintings reveal the realities of what happens when the natural landscape becomes a constructed landscape. As natural elements are removed from the ground and supplanted onto rooftops, overpasses and green walls, nature becomes one step removed from its source. Doherty explores this disconnect and the resulting artifice and façade inherent in landscaping nature.

The paintings aim to translate physical seeing into visual seeing, where they embody a sensory mode of knowing and being in the world. They function as metaphors for interior states, and are a reflection of the human condition in contemporary culture. Doherty’s tightly cropped compositions of impressively detailed foliage communicate the tranquility of being in nature, but the flat grey backgrounds reference the encroaching concrete and built environments that alter the landscape and in turn our experience of it. This same juxtaposition can be seen in the aerial perspectives where the landscape is confined to the smallest footprint possible, almost overwhelmed by the surrounding roadways that interweave around and through the visible landscape. Through her unique choices of perspective, scale and composition, Doherty challenges our perceptions of landscape painting and the state of nature beyond the façade.

Please join us for the opening reception on Thursday, August 29 from 7 to 9pm with artist remarks at 7:30pm. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Image: Park, oil on board, 2019

The artist would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.