• “Floating” show first opened at the Anchorage Museum
By Randi Somers
The Anchorage Museum’s solo exhibition series debuted new work by Halibut Cove artist and commercial fisher Annette Bellamy last Friday. It will remain through Nov. 10.
In her solo exhibition, “Floating,” Bellamy premiered work inspired by her 38 years as a commercial fisher. It includes large-scale clay installations suspended from the ceiling.
Her latest artwork suggests nautical forms and symbolically dramatizes the fine balance of life; the things that make us float and sink and how we navigate life’s journey.
Bellamy’s life on the water contrasts with the earth-bound material she gathers for her artwork. She explained that she relishes the work that goes into both endeavors — the physical labor, the dependence upon one’s hands — as well as the repeated forms she finds in the fish, buoys and nets.
Her suspended constructions hint at life on the water and life’s journey. One installation made from small boat forms floats and gently moves, suggesting balance, currents and invisible lines of connection.
A series of oars are symbolic of how we navigate, not just through the water, but also through relationships and transitions. “The oars are about the journey,” she said. For her they represent the potter’s musician’s and poet’s oars.
For the “Out of Water,” piece, Bellamy uses fish skins, sewing together a quilt piece by piece from fish she caught. They include salmon, ling cod, halibut, sablefish, yellow-eye rock fish and Pacific gray cod. Bellamy said it reflects her sense of environmental stewardship, where nothing taken from the land or sea is wasted. It’s this authenticity that makes Bellamy’s work so tangible and tactile.
Bellamy explains that the most beautiful objects are those with design and purpose.
“It is those objects that become part of our everyday lives and therefore extensions of us,” she said. “Over time, it is these objects that offer the truest narrative of time well-spent.”
Museum visitors met with Bellamy and learned more about the exhibition during the First Friday program last week.
In 2006, Bellamy won a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award. This is her first solo exhibition at the Anchorage Museum.
This show is presented as part of the Patricia B. Wolf Solo Exhibition Series.
The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to share and connect Alaska with the world through art, history and science. More information is available online at www.anchoragemuseum.org.
Bellamy’s exhibit remains on display through Nov. 10.
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