Material and Matter: Show in Connecticut

Doing a show with artists whose work you admire and who you consider to be your good friends—that’s a sweet spot that doesn’t happen often. Luckily it was the case with this recent show. The four of us conceived of this work hanging together, and we were able to do the installation ourselves. I am so grateful to Elizabeth Mead, Paula Overbay and Jo Volley for being such excellent co-exhibitors.

I’ve included some installation shots below. For those who enjoy reading show statements, I have also included the description of Material and Matter, currently on view at La Grua Center in Stonington CT (location details are included as well.) The show is up through the end of December.


Sculpture by Mead



Overbay in the center, with Volley on the left and Mead on the right

Sculpture and drawing by Mead

Window well ink drawing by Volley

Paintings by Barlow

Barlow (left) and Overbay (right)


Barlow painting with sculpture by Mead

Detail of Volley ink drawing

Window well drawing and object, Mead

Paintings by Barlow, sculpture by Mead

Paintings by Barlow, window well by Mead

Right before the reception

Mead during the installation

Show statement:

Works by
Deborah Barlow
Elizabeth Mead
Paula Overbay
Jo Volley

La Grua Center
32 Water Street
Stonington, CT 06378
(860) 535-2300

Artists and scientists share a fascination with the world and its multitudinous forms. While they both possess a driving sense of wonder, their approach is very different. Scientists seek to understand the world, and they use instrumentation and methodical procedures to unravel, uncover and dissect. They find the answers to their questions by breaking the world down into component parts and deconstructing the physical world into its primal elements.

Artists are driven by wonder as well, but they are more inclined to approach the world and its complexity with a sense of awe and celebration. They relish the many ways a body experiences the physical world. The complexity of living forms–from the petri dish to a murmuration of birds—is an encounter with an extraordinary pattern rather than a search for its component parts. For an artist working in this way, the expansive space/time multiverse and its cosmic net of connectedness is an endless source of wonder, awe and amazement.

Four accomplished artists living in Boston, Brooklyn, London and Williamsburg will come together at The La Grua Center to explore their common passion for how materiality and the physicality of the world informs their art making. Working in a non-representational manner, they explore material and matter in both 2D and 3D forms. Playful, engaging, provocative and exquisitely crafted, the show brings together four different visions of how to engage with wonder and the world.

9 Replies to “Material and Matter: Show in Connecticut”

  1. What a fantastic exhibition and installation! The facility looks perfect for this kind of show. Congratulations to all the artists — the work is glorious!

  2. A beautiful building, in and out, to exhibit in. I like the deep window wells and shelves here and there, places for the objects. There is harmony in the pieces, and I particularly like the statement that says artists celebrate the material–not having to prove a point as a scientist must. I second the congratulations!

  3. Deborah – looking at it, my smile was enormous and I wanted to lick the images and put myself to rest together with the objects – now its all inside
    thank you all

  4. Your works of art participate in an event of art.

  5. Deborah, thank you for allowing us to live vicariously through you and your adventures. This installation is fascinating and inspiring. I love that you collaborate with others who resonate with your work. Your statement: “Artists are driven by wonder as well [as scientists], but they are more inclined to approach the world and its complexity with a sense of awe and celebration,” is a perfect description of what I see captured in your photos.

  6. Beautiful show Deborah. I love how everything seems to be in conversation with everything else. Wish I could see it in person!

  7. I love how sculpture of all kinds so beautifully complements, as Mead’s work does here, your paintings, Deborah. Thank you for the introduction to the other artists. Wonderful.

  8. A special Stonington exists in Connecticut and one in Maine,..both now seeming to be incubators of creative expression!
    Deborah, these works are lovely in concert, and the shots are particularly poignant to me with my mind on the moon and constellations of late! It is hard not to be inspired. Congratulations to each of you!

  9. I like the way the sculptures perch above the paintings. Yes–an interaction there. Nice!

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