Emily Dickinson, Rendered brings to Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural center, ten contemporary artists who have been drawn to Dickinson’s observations about nature through her writing. While known to be reclusive, especially later in life, Dickinson enjoyed walks in the woods and working in her garden. From the writing desk in her Amherst, MA, home, she could view the world outside her window. Curator Jennifer McGregor comments, “For artists in the show, what fascinates is not just Dickinson’s poetry, but her example as an artist, and the intimate, tactile quality of her relationship with nature. The artists explore different facets of her life and work in relationship to their own.”
For When they come back – if Blossoms do, Brece Honeycutt overlays Dickinson’s poems in Wave Hill’s Wild and Flower Gardens in concert with the unfolding of the spring season. Utilizing Glyndor Gallery’s Hudson River views, Francis Cape’s secluded desk and photograph of the garden in winter allude to Dickinson’s struggle with her absent god. Peter Edlund’s oil paintings are based on specific poems. Marina Zurkow’s hanging brugmansia-shaped sculptures contain animation of Dickinson-inspired garden characters.
Emily Dickinson Rendered is the first of three exhibitions Wave Hill presents in 2007 that explore 19th-century American writing about nature through the lens of contemporary art. The influence of 19th-century notions about nature is felt throughout Wave Hill, in its landscape, architecture and Palisades views. This series has been conceived in response to Wave Hill’s connection to that period, beginning as a former estate from 1843, and to provide an opportunity for contemporary artists to interpret writings of Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau (June 6-August 26), Bronx resident Edgar Allen Poe and Wave Hill House resident Mark Twain (September 13-December 16). Curated by Jennifer McGregor.