A forest is growing in the center of Los Angeles, and it’s made of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and other artwork. The Loft at Liz’s, the art gallery located above Liz’s Antique Hardware, holds a nature-themed show every spring. This year’s show, curated by Betty Ann Brown, is titled “Forest Bathing.”
Brown explains, “In Japan, they have this thing called shinrin-yoku, which is usually translated as forest bathing. The belief is that to submerge yourself in the forest is a healing act. I’ve been reading about it, and it’s so fascinating to me that I decided, ‘Why not create an art forest for people to come hang in?’”
The show includes work by several of Cartwheel Art’s collaborators, including artists Maria Greenshields-Ziman, Dave Lovejoy, and Susan Feldman, all of whom created installations for Art at the Rendon’s Hidden Rooms event last June. “Forest Bathing” also features pieces by Marthe Aponte, Chenhung Chen, Bibi Davidson, Barbara Edelstein, Renee Fox, Hermine Harman, Joanne Julian, Sant Khalsa, Alberto Mesirca, Hung Viet Nguyen, Samuelle Richardson, Catherine Ruane, Jill Sykes, and Linda Vallejo.
Trees are a frequent subject in Maria Greenshields-Ziman’s work. She tells Cartwheel, “I come from an area of Southern England where forests and trees are fundamental to the landscape. As kids, the fields, hedgerows, streams and trees became our oceans, forts, castles and mastheads. My favorite trees were also places of sanctuary where I retreated when in need of solitude and solace. To me a tree is not just beautiful because it symbolizes life and breath but also because it holds almost magisterial beauty in decay. The trees that speak to me are ancient, sometimes hundreds of years old, their bark and leaves bear the marks of time, they hold whole stories within the intricate patterns of their twisting trunks and branches.”
Dave Lovejoy and Susan Feldman worked together on an alcove installation entitled “Out of the Woods.” Lovejoy says, “Susan and I have enjoyed each other’s work for years, and we’re happy to have this opportunity to collaborate at The Loft at Liz’s.” He adds, “Curator Betty Brown has gathered a great mix of artists to represent the wonder of the woods, and it’s been inspiring to see it come together.”
One of Hung Viet Nguyen’s paintings shows a leafless tree on a dry landscape. Brown points out a tiny tree in the background—a sign of life—and says, “One of the things he’s discovered in the desert is that a lot of trees that look like they’re dead actually regenerate.”
Los Angeles artist Bibi Davidson’s trees offer a psychedelic interpretation of the theme.
Visitors will find some real nature at the gallery, too. Owner Liz Gordon says, “I have a half an acre of land, and during the run of the nature show, I bring cuttings. There’s a table of free cuttings and seeds to inspire people to participate in the gift of nature.”
May 11, 2019 (7 – 10 pm)
May 11 – June 17, 2019
Monday – Saturday (10 am – 6 pm)
The Loft at Liz’s
453 S. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036