Polly Townsend, Foon Sham, Ruth Pettus, Elsie Hull,

June 18-August 27, 2010

Through journeys to unfamiliar places, the vulnerable traveler is able to meditate and reflect on things outside of himself. Travel empowers the artist to create physical objects that express those impressions. Travelogue highlights four artists whose artworks are inspired by either their personal explorations around the globe or the idea of travel in general.

Photographer Elsie Hull chronicles ten consecutive years of her family’s vacations in Cancun, Mexico. The black and white photographs shot with a Holga camera capture intimate, personal moments while encapsulating a holiday experience shared by multiple cultures.

Enveloped in tar, wax, gauze, stones and sticks, Ruth Pettus’ shoes resemble archeological findings from ancient excavation sites. Pettus creates sculptures that signify journeys taken, time passed, memories created, and history made. 

Foon Sham is a frequent traveler whose work results from a rich blending of cultures and an acknowledgment of various artistic traditions. As a visitor to Hospitalfield, Scotland, Sham combined found scraps of wood, pieces of phonebooks, and line drawing to create complex works that reflect both the people and their land.

Polly Townsend is driven by the desire to find the ultimate landscape. Townsend’s paintings of the Himalayas in Kashmir, India are produced largely from memory, reflecting her physical and emotional responses to traveling through such intimidating and isolated terrain.

Each of these artists expresses the innate human yearning to explore and the significance of mobility throughout generations. Travel acts as a creative source that both expands the oeuvre of each artist and shares experiences with the viewer. One cannot help but view Travelogue with an underlying sense of envy.