April 3 opening for van der Ven show

‘Wrack Line’ explored at Perimeter

Mar 25, 2014

Belfast — “The Wrack Line, Images from the Periphery,” a solo exhibition of prints, sculpture and drawings by Lincolnville’s Simon van der Ven, will open with a 6 to 8 p.m. public reception Thursday, April 3, at Perimeter Gallery.

For the past decade, the majority of van der Ven’s art production has been in clay. He is well-known for his porcelain vessels, many carved with tremendous intricacy. Like many who live along or visit the coast, he has long been drawn to the water’s edge and what might be found there.

“The wrack line (or littoral zone) has fascinated me since childhood. It's the line between ocean and land. It is neither and both, rich with unexpected treasure and metaphor,” he said. In 1982, van der Ven found a piece of painted copper tangled in seaweed on the shoreline of Deer Isle.

“There was something ‘right' about this thing, something so full of story … that can take different people to different places, but remains entirely itself,” he said.

The sculptural and graphic work at Perimeter is derived from found scraps of lobster traps that van der Ven has experimented with — joining, squashing, using to emboss — to arrive at decontextualized abstractions suggestive of structure. It is not so much a departure from clay but a concurrent exploration of subject and material that has long intrigued him and is, indeed, informed by his clay work.

The Lincolnville artist teaches ceramics at Unity College and Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Isle. Previously, he taught art at Camden Hills Regional High School for 17 years. He shows his award-winning clay work nationally and has pieces included in the collections at the Canton Museum of Fine Art in Ohio and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art in Texas.

“The Wrack Line, Images from the Periphery” will continue through May 18 at Perimeter, located within Chase’s Daily, 96 Main St. The restaurant, returning from its winter break, will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 338-0555. For more information about the artist, visit vandervenstudios.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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