Every exhibition has a backstory. SIGNS & WONDERS, the collaborative mixed media exhibition, opening April 1, 2022, at Hyde House has a backstory, too. The main characters happen to be my artist husband David Greenwood-Mathé and me.
Since our courting days David and I have shared the inclination to “oou and ah” together at sights that catch our eyes and tweak our fancies. Even following the same paths again and again on our Sunday drives we always find wonders to delight us—a quartet of Scottish highlander, hearty hairy coos keeping company with a donkey named Charlie, two alpaca and a quartet of shaggy bison;
and a gaggle of wild turkeys strolling about in a farmer’s front yard.
Enthusiastically we admire the sunbeams gleefully summer dancing in an urban brook; the lapis lazuli shadows stretching lean over a river’s snow-covered, tree-lined banks; the story-telling clouds bouncing or floating or rushing or resting still and serene over us in a plethora of shapes and sizes; and a vine-covered fence post that began life as a cedar tree.
Those times we make mini-detours over and over we are pleased to have our senses entertained by the newness of the unexpected—an enormous black and white swine with blunted nose peering through swaying, emerald-tinted grass behind a hog wire fence; spring and summer wildflowers
We love discovering a nursery of young black vultures lined up on a white fence railing with a raucous murder of ebony crows circling overhead; or a solo longhorn posing roadside and offering a repertoire of amusing expressions as though for a photo-op; or a pasture of horses dressed in masks and spats looking ready for a neighbor’s costume party.
With our comings and goings we are frequently entertained by the seemingly ordinary directional signs we encounter placed on poles to help and guide us in our travels. One in particular—the very noire arrow, pointed up with a wiggly tail flowing down over a reflective yellow backdrop—was the first road sign I decided to paint. “Wiggle Bottom” is a reminder of the squirming Aussie riding in my lap as we made our way up that curving, twisting tarmac trail.
All these signs and wonders seem to be love notes left by a grand heart filled with benevolence—reassuring us we live in a world of beauty and goodness, telling us to pause and slow down. We do. We slow down. We stop. As David gathers an appealing stick or stone or rusted scrap of bric-a-brac for his sculpture, I start snapping my camera’s shutter—collecting images, capturing moments, making sweet memories to put into my painted photo tableau.
We have loved collecting and making our SIGNS & WONDERS. We love sharing them with you. We hope they bring you joy and give you much to love, too!
You can see a preview of all 88 of our SIGNS & WONDERS creations at www.artcentralcarthage.org and in our photo albums on artCentral’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ArtcentralCarthage. Purchases will be available online or at Hyde House beginning at noon on Friday, April 1, 2022.