Matthew Gray Palmer

Matthew Gray Palmer
Liminal Currents: Exploration of an Empathetic Umwelt
May 23 – August 21, 2015
Reception: June 19, 5:00–8:00 p.m.

“Liminal Currents: Exploration of an Empathetic Umwelt” is an installation by Matthew Gray Palmer that provides an opportunity to embrace another way of seeing reality. As humans living on islands, we occupy space on a boundary between a continent and an ocean; we also occupy a sensory space between sky and water. As participants within this installation, we are invited to immerse ourselves in a space to experience empathy with underwater marine life. The boundaries of our world and awareness move hourly like the currents.

While the installation in the Atrium Space will be designed and directed by Matthew Gray Palmer, visitors are invited to help complete the project throughout the duration of the exhibition through writing their blessings, thoughts, wishes and prayers and/or ideas on “ribbons” which will become part of the artwork. Everyone is welcome to participate.

In his own words, Palmer described his design concept. “By engaging our capacity for imagining what another beings experience empathically, we might shift our perspective to include a fuller picture of the ways we have, do, and will connect, communicate, and share the world with other denizens of this island jewel. Our cultivation and exploitation of the planet’s resources and the impact of these methods are dramatically contrasted in this micro-island ecosystem where very few actions make significant changes.”

The installation officially opens on April 23.  The community can watch the assembly as volunteers assist in the core construction.

Matthew Gray Palmer is a sculptor based in Friday Harbor who is dedicated to teaching natural science and conservation through public art.  His projects with the National Park Service over the past several years have included monumental works placed in Arches National Park (Utah), Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (California), and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve near New Orleans. Recently, Matthew installed a life-size African Elephant made of Butterflies at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, VA. He has also won the Eckleberry Scholarship Award by the Society of Animal Artists.

SJIMA thanks the sponsors of this exhibition: