New Orleans, LA - River of Palms is an exploration of various New Orleans landscapes created with unique layering techniques. The exhibit encompasses different views of the southern region’s subtropical ecology and urban landscape, including the Mississippi River and surrounding swamplands.
The main character of River of Palms is the river. The river plays a significant role in the historic drama and in these paintings. It is responsible for creating and destroying ecosystems on its path to the gulf and centering trade economy. The river is the most important geographic feature in the region and the lifeblood of the people in Louisiana. By collaging together these native elements of Southern Louisiana, Blenker celebrates the beauty of living with these natural features and considers how modifications to natural systems, including levees, navigation canals, and drained wetlands will portend for the region’s health in the long run.
Blenker created the river series based on her sustained interest in topography and systems – natural systems, man-made systems, and the relationship between the two. In River of Palms, Blenker conveys the landscape of the southern region and introduces mixed perspectives that are more psychological than aerial, incorporating plants, topographical, and features that make New Orleans unique.
Her design process to create the series was incredibly unique. Within her process, she dissected specific elements of the surrounding landscape and collaged them together. Once the images were collaged together, she layered each feature atop a previous cropping and obscuring it.
According to Blenker, “the use of layering emulates the natural and artificial changes in landscape over time.” The final effect is a focused finished product, that concentrates on the significance of the river to the people of New Orleans.
River of Palms opens July 12th and will be on view through August. The opening reception is Thursday July 12th 6-9PM at 646 Tchoupitoulas St.
Regina Parkinson, Gallery Director