Ann Wessmann: Gathering: An Homage

October 30-December 1, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, November 1, 2019, 5:00-8:00 pm

  • Ann Wessmann

    Gathering #1, Horse Chestnut hulls and waxed linen thread, dimensions variable, approximately 108 x 48 x 2 inches, 2019.

    Gathering #1
  • Ann Wessmann

    Gathering #1 (detail), Horse Chestnut hulls and waxed linen thread, dimensions variable, approximately 108 x 48 x 2 inches, 2019.

    Gathering #1 detail
  • Ann Wessmann

    Poem for My Old Horse Chestnut Trees #3 (detail), Horse Chestnut twigs, dimensions variable, approximately 40 x 120 x 3 inches, 2014-2019.

    Poem for My Old Horse Chestnut Trees #3 (detail)
  • Ann Wessmann

    Poem for My Old Horse Chestnut Trees #4 (detail), Horse Chestnut twigs and waxed linen thread, dimensions variable, approximately 18 x 72 x 3 inches, 2019.

    Poem for My Old Horse Chestnut Trees #4 (detail)
  • Ann Wessmann

    Homage to the Linden Tree (detail #1), Linden/Basswood leaf bracts and linen thread, dimensions variable, approximately 10 x 12 x 10 feet, 2019.

    Homage to the Linden Tree (detail #1)
  • Ann Wessmann

    Homage to the Linden Tree (detail #2), Linden/Basswood leaf bracts and linen thread, dimensions variable, approximately 10 x 12 x 10 feet, 2019.

    Homage to the Linden Tree (detail #2)

Artist Page
Press Release
Sheehan, Daniel. "Pope's Hill artist draws inspiration from above." Dorchester Reporter, November 7, 2019.
"An Interview with Artist Ann Wessmann." Kingston Blog, November 15, 2019.

Artist Statement

In my studio practice, I explore themes relating to time, memory, beauty and the ephemeral, with a focus on the strength and fragility of human beings and the natural world. With a background in fiber and textile processes, I develop objects and installations through repetition and the accumulation of a variety of materials. Materials are chosen for their expressive potential; translucent vellum, various personal mementos such as locks of hair from family members, texts from family journals and letters, or natural materials such as plants, shells, stones, or bones. The works have a strong relationship to text and textiles, pattern, transformation, order and chaos, landscape and the body.

I hope to engage the viewer through the physicality of materials and through the use of scale. Viewers often confront works which mirror the human body. Larger scale installations may surround the viewer. In some cases works of a small scale are created requiring the viewer to look from a very close perspective.

While the work may begin as a personal commemoration of the life of a family member or a place or in the current work, a tree, my hope is that the work will have universality and will remind viewers of their own history and relationships.

In the exhibition, Gathering, I pay tribute to trees in a broad sense, while focusing on a few trees that are of particular importance to me. I have come to developing this body of work after going through a process of observation and discovery, gathering and sorting the many objects that fall to the ground from trees, such as leaves, twigs, nuts, hulls, seeds and leaf bracts. These are important but generally overlooked and discarded materials.

The works in the Main Gallery are all gathered from the various plant materials that fell from one of a pair of horse chestnut trees in the yard of the home where I grew up in Scituate. These trees have been a part of my life for almost 67 years and the objects in the exhibition serve as homage to the trees that have existed for so many years, going through their cycle of life as I go through mine. The work also serves as a memorial for one of the trees which, after many years of decline, died a couple of years ago.

The installation "Homage to the Linden Tree", in the Center Gallery focuses on a linden or basswood tree in a school yard that is directly behind my home and small urban backyard in Dorchester. I can see it from my kitchen window, but I have developed a relationship with it through the leaf bracts that fly into my yard and have inspired me.



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