Austin artist Diana Dopson created luminous color photographs for her exhibition installation titled BIOTA on view at the gallery through September 13th. In BIOTA, Dopson explored the uneasy alliance between nature and culture. A variety of insect species (butterflies, glittering aqua beetles, metallic blue flies) were photographed and placed within confining box structures as seen in natural history museums.
The work was primarily photographic but the easy details commonly associated with the medium were rendered obscure by the wax surface and the use of blur. The lack of focus and the use of blur evoke a sense of the fleeting and the transitory. Dopson used a process that includes binding her color photographs to boards and fixing them beneath several layers of encaustic. This creates the effect that the art works are hovering effortlessly between the mediums of painting and photography. She created the illusion of three-dimensionality with this method to remind us of the discrepancy between object and image, between experience and art. Writer, Colleen Choquette-Raphael stated “Diana Dopson is creating, with this body of work, a philosophy of spring. A world on the threshold of sunlight and rain, a world that exists in that uncanny space between what is real and what is imagined, what is desired and what is. We are made dizzy first by the brilliance and then by its diffusion. Her inquisitive nature leads us to a place where the residue of color trailing a butterfly’s navigation through the summer twilight becomes the iconography of desire. We run our hands through the pool and find the sandy bottom. It is a gentle indictment, a call to arms to aid in the protection of this fragile world.”