Rosemary Luckett has been on good terms with the earth since she was a young girl weeding sugar beets and caring for the animals on her family’s farm in the desert plateau of south central Idaho. These earliest experiences of taking care of the environment that then, in turn, took care of her, were the seeds of Rosemary’s sense of this relationship as vital and mutual. Over time, she has developed a visual language--plastic ducky's, bones, tree forms, maps, and birds to express her love and worry for the earth through her artwork. The techniques used varies with what she is exploring. Sometimes collage. Sometimes sculpture. And more recently photography.
In her current solo show, Earth Blankets, at Touchstone this month, Luckett continues in her quest to draw our attention to making visible parts of the landscape that we have made invisible. In particular, the trash and detritus we eliminate from our everyday lives—the glass bottle that held our sparkling water, the colorful hard plastic that formed the toys our children played with – are cast away in to the “unseen” and Luckett rediscovers them. She takes these broken and decayed fragments we have lost interest in and re-ignites our interest. We can’t help ourselves but to reconsider what we left behind.
Luckett photographs detritus, and in this very act, she begins the transformation. By transferring the photographs of a broken and scratched CD found in the grass onto a cloth blanket, Luckett creates a conflicting experience in us: we are both painfully reminded of our daily contributions to the blanket of trash that covers our earth, and at the same time, we are experiencing beauty and interest in the 3D form before us. The “blanket” is an object we associate with softness, taking care, and protecting from discomfort. Through Luckett’s work, we see in ourselves both the capacity for warmth, beauty and protectiveness as well as for decay, destruction and disinterest. While we may already be familiar with these conflicting aspects of ourselves, by feeling it all at once, Luckett has us in a conundrum.
Luckett's work can be seen April 3-27 At Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC. Opening Reception Friday April 4, 6:00-8:30. Closing reception April Friday April 25, 6:00-8:30,