The exhibition Fire & Water: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp will be held at TCC’s Visual Arts Center from May 3 through June 19 in Portsmouth. The Opening Reception will take place on Saturday, May 3 at 7 p.m. with an informal gallery talk preceding the event at 6:30 p.m. Events are free and open to the public.
For this photography program, Virginia Beach artist Pam Ponce worked with staff from the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and the Youth Conservation Corps to provide documentation of the burn areas from the 2008 and 2011 fires. The exhibition will feature photographs, prints, sculptural elements and educational panels that combine art and science and reflect the complexity and fragility of natural ecosystems.
To share her experiences, Ponce has created panoramic photographs that not only raise questions about human interference in natural cycles, but also depict the beauty in the darker side of nature. Some of her images are murky and desolate and conjure feelings of despair while others show the beginning of regeneration and hope. A range of colors, textures, patterns and light provide interest and attraction to the unusual landscapes. Several charred stumps forming a symbolic circle in the main gallery appear to be walking on their exposed roots. Combined, the two and three-dimensional work provides a strange and haunting feeling of the swamp in a newly created environment.
The VAC is located at 340 High Street, Olde Towne Portsmouth. Galleries are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and are free and open to the public. For more information call Shelley Brooks at (757) 822-1878.