ERIN RACHEL HUDAK MY NATURE YOUR NATURE
JULY – 119 LEWIS STREET PDF PRESS RELEASE
OCHI gallery is pleased to present a second solo show with Erin Rachel Hudak. My Nature / Your Nature, opens July 6th at 119 Lewis Street. For this exhibition, Hudak produced works that explore the ways we define the distinction between humans and Mother Nature. For example, a small series of pieces on paper juxtaposes colonial settlers and historical figures with woodland animals, or animals and domestic settings. These works help a viewer consider the manmade separation of “my land” versus “your land.” The log pile becomes a less obvious way to consider this disunion. As Hudak writes, “the log pile represents comfort, beginnings, the possibilityof warmth and fuel, but also the destruction of man’s hand in nature.” A stack of logs can symbolize frontiers, hard labor and potential. The log pile allowed humans to move beyond mere survival, saving and preparing for winters to come. From there the log pile comes to embody surplus; demonstrating human’s potential to take and use more than needed. Thus stacks of Hudak’s paintings depicting stacks of logs begin to emphasize the more modern connotations of firewood. One cannot help but picture the widespread image of a stripped forest, and rows and rows of tree stumps. Hudak alludes to the idea that the log pile is also transient and precious. The tree that takes years to grow in nature needs only moments to burn as a log. Despite these connotations, ultimately Hudak’s paintings do not feel political or ominous. In fact, they also seem to acknowledge man’s potential to live in harmony with nature. Hudak’s logs are neatly stacked and set on grids, as if she sought to restore balance and also give attention to our capacity for ingenuity. They are bright, colorful and more celebratory than admonishing. In Hudak’s hands the concept of our nature/your nature emerges as a possibility full of hope where humans and Mother Nature enjoy a mutual respect and collaborative, fruitful future.