Adkins Arboretum | Pamela Crockett So Impotent Our Wisdom

By East City Art Editorial Team on January 16, 2024

Sat, January 13 2024 — Fri, March 1 2024

Seasoning, Pamela Crockett, oil on canvas, 60″ x 42″

Pamela Crockett’s powerful oil paintings of swirling autumn leaves and dried pods bursting with seeds are on view in the Visitor’s Center at Adkins Arboretum through March 1. The pure joy and energy of these large paintings upends the idea that the dying back of autumn into winter’s cold is a time of sadness, proving it instead to be a beautiful, ever-changing period crowning the whole cycle of the year.

Studying the complex anatomy of plants with the aid of watchmaker’s lenses, Crockett paints their intimate details larger than life and in color so vivid they’re almost scary. As animated as anything in the animal kingdom, a trio of crinkled sycamore leaves waves joyfully as they tumble across the canvas, while segments of sea oat grass recall an inquisitive water creature.

The title of the show, “So Impotent Our Wisdom,” a phrase drawn from a poem by Emily Dickinson, gives a clue to Crockett’s deeper intent. These paintings are like a call to action. Irrepressibly alive and filled with fascinating details, sometimes including actual seeds or seaweed, they’ll entice you to think about how little we know of this complex and captivating natural world so threatened by human activity.

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