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Show Dates: 2016-02-01 - 2016-02-29
Title: Memento Mori Creatures of the Sea
Artist: Crystal Cudworth
Thinking about my family’s sea-faring history has led me into the direction that my current research and practice is following in which issues of social class, environmental studies, and fishing communities unfold in motifs of landscape, portraiture, still life, and abstraction. The pieces in this series began with interviewing fishers in the once booming port of New Bedford which developed into following the fishes migration and the gathering of more stories from local fishers. The interviews consisted of discussing economic conditions and on-the-job observations of fish populations and weather patterns as well as deepening federal regulations on seasonal fish species closures and sizes.
Paintings are completed on fishing docks, beaches, charter boats, commercial boats, and in the studio using photographs taken on site for points of departure. The rhythm of the boats on the water as well as the awkward, emerging relationship with fishers in the close quarters of the boats are executed in single session, plein air paintings. The quality of light as it appears to be dissolving within the oil paintings is suggestive of the dwindling fishing industry in the United States as regulations become increasingly restrictive to their livelihoods. The impressions of the fishers, the fish, and their surrounding oceanic environment are a memento mori to the fishing industry in the United States.
Crystal Cudworth received her BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) in 2011 and her MFA from School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA)/Tufts University in 2015. She grew up in Pompano Beach, Florida and moved to Denzer, Wisconsin, an unincorporated community at age ten. Both of her parents fished commercially and her mother began a successful entrepreneurship upon the move to Wisconsin. Most recently, her photographs taken in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, while on a travel grant from SMFA, were included in a Darkroom Series group show, titled “Go Places” in summer of 2015 at the Boston Youth Hostel. Cudworth also received the President’s Award from SMFA to support travel to New Bedford, Massachusetts. Her MFA exhibition was held at the Cyclorama in Boston and was titled “Same Story, Fish Story.” She has consistently participated in group shows and has several times curated self-proposed exhibitions with peers in non-traditional gallery settings.