Striking works of art find home at IBES
The Institute at Brown University for Environment & Society is now home to three compelling new works of art created by local artists Johnathan Derry and Amy Wynne.
Johnathan Derry’s new work explores the notion that oppositional forces can in fact be complimentary and interconnected. As Above, So Below borrows its title from a text by sixth century mystic philosopher Hermes Trismegistus, suggesting alchemistic connections between the microcosm and macrocosm, and mirroring the artist’s exploration of the philosophy of self.
Derry’s sculptural structures embody dualism in their search to reconcile polarities within the self, and within society. The oppositional play of material and form creates tension, manifesting in visual motifs such as black and white, heavy and light, over and under, wherein two disparate ideas must co-exist. Remnants of excavated topographical surfaces are evidence of what was formerly above becoming artifacts resting below, implying erosion and temporality, as well as creation and regeneration. As Above, So Below represents the artist’s aspiration to alleviate the anxiety of human disconnect, and to find a deeper notion of self and connection to his world.
Derry holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Solo shows include the Bromfield Gallery, Boston, MA, and the Hunt-Cavanagh Gallery, Providence, RI. Selected group exhibitions include 25CPW, New York, NY; 5 Traverse Gallery, Providence, RI; and the Provincetown Art Association. He received a Fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center in 2006, and recently completed a major commission for Brown University. He teaches Sculpture at Clark University.