By Joanne Briana-Gartner
Your grandmother’s lace doilies, bleached bones, a white Rorschach test, these are some of the things you might “see” when you look at Courtney Mattison’s “Turn The Tide” exhibit, on view upstairs in the Beebe Gallery at Highfield Hall & Gardens through the end of the month.
The largest work on view in the show, covering an entire wall in the gallery, is only part of Ms. Mattison’s larger piece “Malum Geminos” (20 feet by seven feet and almost two feet of three-dimension relief), which was on view in 2019 at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Segments from “Malum Geminos” are on view at Highfield along with selections from Ms. Mattison’s Fossil Fuels and Hope Spots series. The exhibit also includes Ms. Mattison’s 2016 work, “Aqueduct.”
Both scientist and sculptor, Ms. Mattison earned an interdisciplinary bachelor of arts degree in marine ecology and ceramic sculpture from Skidmore College in 2008 and a master of arts degree in environmental studies from Brown University with thesis credits at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011.
In pursuing art rather than furthering her science research, Ms. Mattison’s goal was to educate more people with her message of conservation. “She decided she could reach more people through art than by staying in the lab,” said Joanne Ingersoll, director of exhibitions and interpretation at Highfield. “Art is more accessible than science,” she added. Read more …
Photo: Detail of “Malum Geminos” by Courtney Mattison.