Wander and Wonder Exhibition continues at Arklow Library for 1 more week.

Wander and Wonder

Wander & Wonder’, an exhibition by Wicklow-based artist Sarah Eva Manson. This process-led body of work invites viewers to experience the natural world through the lens of nature connectedness and the art of slowing down.

‘Wander & Wonder’ presents a collaboration between the artist, the studio, and the forest environment through natural pigment and responsive painting. With an abundance of beautiful forestry at 18%, Wicklow holds so much history as far back as ancient burial sites, mountains and hills formed by volcanoes, ecosystems and the wood-wide-web. The mycorrhizal network and Mycelium provide the environments where Manson gathers inspiration and collaboration with the earth to create her pieces. Studio time is mirrored by time spent in the forest.

Manson studied with Eco Wellness ConsultingNádúr, Centre for Integrative Forest Therapy and County Wicklow Partnership to become a Forest Bathing Guide in 2021 further developing her connection to nature.

The processes that Manson employs are informed by the elemental forces present in the forest that we experience with all of our senses; sight, sound, smell, touch and taste—submerging Hahnemuhle Cotton Rag Fine Art Paper directly under the leaf litter on the forest floor for weeks if not months to physically connect with the mycorrhizal network revealing the passage of time in a unique organic meditative way allowing the forest to imprint itself upon the material.

Manson spends hours sitting quietly in the forest observing the beauty and awe around her. Noticing all the colours and textures and how they change throughout the year.

Beyond documenting her process, this body of work opens a dialogue between the artist, the materials and the forest. The expressive artworks, seen as a whole, are gentle and balanced. Dappled textures are contrasted against precious details. Viewed up close, the alchemic reactions of the natural pigment echo that of the forest’s ecosystem, ultimately creating a keen sense of the environments to which the works respond.

‘Wander & Wonder’ dances between forest bathing and intuitive mark-making, showcasing a deep meditative enquiry into forest ecosystems and the elemental forces at play in these landscapes.

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