Thinking ‘Outside the Box’ at the Mills Pond House Gallery: Bedazzled by the work of four fearless artists
Fifty years ago Marshall McLuhan philosophized that “the medium is the message,” aptly pointing out that the means by which content is conveyed speaks as loudly as the subject itself.
Smithtown Township Arts Council’s newest exhibit, “Outside the Box,” currently on view at Mills Pond House Gallery in St. James, showcases the work of four artists who are fearless in their quest to experiment, reinvent and meld the properties of diverse media.
Mary Ahern is known for resplendent large-scale floral studies inspired by her luxuriant Northport gardens. Ms. Ahern has a degree in horticulture and melds this knowledge with her expertise in painting and digital technology to create fine art pieces which are flamboyant feasts of color and detail. Of particular interest is the thought process behind the creation of her blue iris painting entitled “The Dance in the Garden.”
Although she said that she was never really a fan of Henri Matisse, Ms. Ahern had admired his painting, “La Danse” (“The Dance”) at the Museum of Modern Art. The piece is all about the communal motion of five nude women whose hands are clasped so that the group forms a circle.
“Using flowers from my own garden, I picked up the exuberant rhythm which makes his (Matisse’s) work such a delight,” Ms. Ahern said, expressing her satisfaction with her “re-imagination” of the flow of movement captured by Matisse. “It is so light, buoyant and a wonderful interpretation of what spring means to me,” she said of her piece.