When Bethel artist Elizabeth White got the call from the Ely Center of Contemporary Art in New Haven to respond to NOW, she had to.
An intriguing organization with an uniquely Connecticut history, ECOCA’s mission is "to support and instigate social dialogues that explore emerging 'i’s': issues, ideals, and innovations—and to welcome the collisions inherent in this approach—by developing and producing art exhibitions and programming that contextualize local and global issues of social justice and culture."
With prominent curator, Margaret Roleke, who recently was honored with the Connecticut Artist Fellowship Award for 2020, posing the questions, Elizabeth and 15 other artists - from Connecticut, New York, Florida, Maryland, and Rhode Island - were asked to react to NOW, a moment in history that has been and continues to be a turbulent and uncertain one, with everything turned upside down, isolation, illness, the strain of too much togetherness, political inertia, and simmering racial distrust.
For NOW, Elizabeth responded with an outdoor, sculptural installation of mixed media with burrs. Entitled "Truth and Consequences," she offers this cogent explanation:
I use burrs to signify uninvited things that attach to our lives.
Cover 19 invaded our family.
My husband and I have regained our health.
Sadly, my cousin, Michelle, never recovered.
She did not die of a hoax.
Commenting on her work, Margaret Roleke wrote, “Elizabeth White approaches the serious subject of the Covid illness with humor. Her woodland creatures blend beautifully into the landscape but also stand out with their otherworldly green coloration, which gives you pause. The burrs suggest an added element of unseen pain.” Elizabeth's most recent commentaries through art have been shown at the Stash Gallery in London, curated by Sweet 'Art, and at Beechwood Arts and Innovation in Westport, CT. For more on her visionary and unique creative voice, visit elizabethart.net
NOW will be shown at the Ely Center of Contemporary Art, 51 Trumbull Street, New Haven, CT, from Thursday, September 24th through Sunday, November 15th. All Covid-19 health guidelines will be strictly followed, so it's best to visit the center's website, elycenter.org, for information on visiting hours and events, both onsite and online.