Terra: Harriet Salmon
September 27 - November 12, 2017
Black Ball Projects is pleased to present Terra, an exhibition comprised of new works by Harriet Salmon that is the artist’s first solo show in New York. Salmon’s work merges the language of landscape painting, biology and science fiction, making her analogue imagery slide between ancient, contemporary and future worlds.
The exhibition title is a play on words with terra—Latin for land, territory or Earth—and terror, defined in reference to Gothic literature as “the feeling of dread and anticipation that precedes a horrifying experience.” The artist attempts to conjure this ominous presence in her work and to relate the subtle but visceral feeling of not belonging within an alien environment. In an effort to find solid ground she turns to the known tradition of landscape painting, searching for familiarity by placing and defining herself in the landscape like many painters before her. Within her Terra there is a human figure that ‘walks’ the landscape, coming in and out of focus before eventually disappearing into the background.
Long woven pieces are composed of binary code that echo the invention of computer languages. They are optical transmissions of information and their communication is revealed through the stitching and layering of real and fabricated images. Interruptions, codes, and patterns are mirrored by similar aspects in our own planet’s nature and we recognize a familiar horizon, plant or lifeform from a distance only to realize as we get closer that it’s not… quite right. We navigate this environment while searching for means of adaptation: colonizing, being colonized or perhaps, coexisting.
“If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy.” - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
"We are an impossibility in an impossible universe." - Ray Bradbury