The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings and sculpture by Australian born contemporary artist Judy Cotton. In an environment impacted by global warming, Cotton creates artwork with a focus on water, glaciers, melting ice, and insect life, offering a meditation on the natural world and the forces that threaten its balance.
Judy Cotton was born in Australia in 1941 and has lived and worked in the United States since 1971. In 2008 she began living full time in Lyme, Connecticut beside the Connecticut River. The constant presence of this body of water—fast moving through most of the year, frozen solid in winter—has influenced and informed her work in different contexts and media. In Cotton’s words, “I live beside water and am reminded daily by its constantly moving and mysterious presence that we must care for this precious element before it is irretrievably exhausted.”
Hidden Water: Paintings and Sculpture by Judy Cotton is a multi-media exhibition presenting art that speaks to the artist’s ecological concerns. Art critic Sebastian Smee has described Cotton as “a passionate observer of the natural world, both in the wilds of America and in her native Australia... Cotton has long been drawn to the lives and movement of animals, plants, fires, floods, rivers, and skies—to life in flux.” Over 30 of Cotton’s paintings and scores of small sculptures will be displayed in the Lyman Allyn’s second floor galleries, with one room imagined as a cabinet of curiosities containing sculpted nests, insects and other natural and artificial “specimens.” Through the creation of resin casts of an array of animals she has found in nature, Cotton addresses ecological degradation and species loss as well as an understanding of life, sociality, and resilience of all forms.