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Sacred Places: Watercolour Diaries from the American South West

The focus of this current exhibition is a collection of paintings done over a period of 3 years. These paintings - as with Foster's other work – are a result of intensive research, living and working on location, engaging with local and indigenous communities and promoting the cause of protection of wild places. The paintings themselves are annotated with journal entries and symbolic assemblages.  All works have been executed on site over a period of thirty six months. This exhibition of watercolours will also be accompanied by a small selection of American Indian art objects and artefacts chosen very carefully to create an informative dialogue with Tony’s paintings.

The entire exhibition opened at the Foster Art and Wilderness Foundation, 940 Commercial Street, Palo Alto, CA in February 2016 where it remains on show. Contact info@thefoster.org for more details.

Read full artist's statement

It is Foster's belief that all societies need to express their reverence for extraordinary places. Tribal societies express it through their religious practices and ceremonies. The more secular culture of Western society expresses it by designating National and State Parks, National Forests and Monuments, thus rendering them sacrosanct. It could be argued that the “Environmental Movement” is the secular means by which we express our need to honour the Earth.

The American Southwest encompasses many places of extraordinary resonance and beauty. This exhibition is Tony Foster’s personal response to these lands. He travelled as an outsider with an open mind, hoping to learn of the relationship between the spiritual lives of the people, of whatever tribal affiliation, race or faith, and their landscape.

In order to help understand and convey the history and meaning of the places where Foster was working, Cathy Notarnicola was appointed as guide to the intricacies of Tribal Law and tradition. Formally Lead Curatorial Researcher at The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, her task is also to curate a group of works from private collections and from contemporary artists and craftspeople to support the exhibition.  It is the intention hereby to enrich each viewer’s experience with deeper understanding of each site and of Tony’s travels.

Displaying 1-8 of 32 paintings
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Displaying 1-8 of 32 paintings
Show all