For the second summer, the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society has offered its downstairs exhibit space (aptly named the Silvermine Gallery) to Roger Mudre, Gallery Director of Silvermine Arts Center. Roger selects the artist, who then curates and installs his or her own work. This year, Roger chose Tom Berntsen. The pieces are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting both the Societyand Silvermine. Tom’s work will be on display through August 16.
Below is Tom’s artist statement:
“My work is inspired by meditation and is illustrative of a meditative journey. These artworks are playful photographic and sculptural studies, ideas plucked from the ether, from the mind’s eye, from a place of curiosity. Symbols are appropriated from the archetype of a labyrinth, an ancient design rich in mysticism and alchemic, powerful in many ways, capable of transforming the willing participant. Often an idea evolves into another thought, sometimes an elaboration, many times pared down approaching minimalism.
I look to the ancient past and value those images speaking of a shared human experience, a 35,000 year old flute fabricated from bird’s bone with finger holes that enable the player to create music, a cave drawing made up of lines and dots to convey information of importance, or from a cave where the architecture is dominated by a set of concentric circles of stalactites broken from the ceiling and deliberately placed by Neanderthals for some purpose.
The way we were taught how to get from point A to point B by staying on that straight line is an ill-conceived a notion. I have come to a much more harmonious and interesting place recognizing the journey is circular. I am intrigued by that famous photographic image recording the traces atoms left as they collide and ricochet off each other, spinning as a whirling dervish. The slippery notion of thoughts, each flowing one into one another, provide the essence of the next artwork, perhaps as crude but as honest as hand prints left on a Paleolithic cave wall.”