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The Catalogue of Pleasures of the Garden, an exhibition curated by Alice Dubiel
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Pleasures of the Garden: visualizing the Song of Songs
April 15 through May 31, 2010
St James Cathedral Chapel
9th & Marion
Seattle WA

In collaboration with the musical aspects of the Song of Songs Festival at St. James Cathedral in May 2010, I have curated an exhibition featuring works on the theme of gardens and the natural processes of plants and animals especially created for this event. Intimate, contemplative works bring the garden into the cathedral’s chapel.
Evocative garden and field imagery in the Song of Songs reflects its origin in a literary society both pastoral and urban. Ancient Mediterranean cities such as the Jerusalem of Solomon were created either as fortresses or as dense dwelling constructions to maximize the efficiency of water, sanitation resources and services. Privileged domiciles would have enclosed or rooftop gardens, functioning as private space. The fabulous “hanging” gardens of Babylon are thought to be a series of roof top gardens cascading at different levels to imitate the mountain terraces in ancient northeastern Iraq. In our imaginations, the pastoral is often idealized as a “natural” world more ethical and authentic than contemporary city life. Pastoralism is, in fact, linked developmentally to the rise of urban societies and is frequently situated in ancient literature as an opposite to urban restraints.
A garden’s enclosed space is domestic and often private. In the text of Song of Songs, the poet alternates between the exquisite charm of the enclosed space and the expansive delight experienced in the pasture land. The charms of the enclosed spaces are further subverted by the authority represented by confinement there. The land is not wilderness, but has been tamed by human culture: the pomegranate, apricot, vines and goats and sheep evoke sensations of prosperity, fecundity, luscious satisfaction. Spring and summer, seasons of growth, quickening, of verdure, figure prominently in the poet’s imagery. Descriptions of springtime activities and the revivification of perennial fruits look forward to summer’s bounty and fullness.
Reinterpreted in medieval Europe, the Song of Songs takes on multiple and often allegorical meanings. The late Roman garden is an enclosed space, protected, and often increasingly through the medieval period, a gendered female space. Those who reside in the garden are nurtured by its bounty, protected by the Virgin or by God. The urban world and the pastoral commons become too large for the privacy and intimacy within the wattle fence. The garden is a retreat from this larger world, and it functions as a contemplative space where nature and artifice are integrated; I would argue, nature and artifice are socially constructed opposites whose science merges in the garden.
I invited these artists to create or offer works informed or inspired by garden imagery and the Song of Songs. Keeping in mind the intimate nature of the text and the domestic garden, I requested smaller works from artists, many of whom work in large format, or who create and maintain gardens, simple or elaborate. Each artist represented by her work in this exhibition reiterates her insight into natural processes through her visual creationsTeofanov Labyrinth, Farmington, NM. Cabeen [below left, in Seattle, WA] and Teofanov [right, Farmington, NM] have created garden labyrinths based on the kinds of sacred paths in northern European cathedrals.Cabeen Labyrinth, Seattle WA Walking these paths are healing meditations and reaffirm the regenerative powers of their gardens. Teofanov’s extensive family garden incorporates permaculture strategies including domesticated livestock. Peters’s [below right, with flowers in her garden] garden designs and maintenance in mid Atlantic climates explored strategies of intensive biodynamic horticulture. In recent years, she has incorporated shifting weather patterns, especially increasing aridity, into an extensive established garden in the xeriscape of Santa Fe. Moria Peters in her garden with flowersBruch’s studies in sacred geometry reveal connections among natural structures and processes with the mysteries of the universe as we are able to understand them. [below, Kathryn Glowen at her homestead, with donkeys and yoyos]Kathryn Glowen homestead with donkeys and yoyos

Inheriting these ancient traditions, the artists have reimagined images or processes evoked in the Song of Songs or similar inspirations. Lou Cabeen incorporates contemporary garden images with the weaving of the wattle enclosure, guarded by the cosmos. Sarah Teofanov fashions small shrines which re-create the microcosms of personal or family gardens, linking them to energetic Sanskrit physiology, each shrine representing a different chakra. Gillian Theobald and Karen Schminke, through explorations of shape and color of garden flora, bring formal insights into natural processes. Barbara Bruch reveals the sacred geometry of flowering plants metaphorically, evoking the pomegranate’s lusciousness with color and contrasting shapes. Kathryn Glowen’s assemblage incorporates traditional livestock references with the natural processes of decay and revivification present in established urban and suburban gardens. Moria Peters provides a view from the garden to illustrate the interaction of the wild with the domesticated. In my own work, I situated surface text, from the Song of Songs, to become a lens through which we view the elements of garden and sky, and refer to ancient Mediterranean ceramics and mosaics reiterating patterns of life.

Seattle has long been a gardener’s dreamscape with its mild climate, mineral rich soils and water resources. Gardeners and farmers in the region have incorporated and developed many innovative cultivation techniques which extend the integration of urban and pastoral. Below  are links to the artist’s work and where you can contact them regarding purchase, or contact me to coordinate purchase. All works are for sale.
Alice Dubiel
Seattle, Washington, Cascadia
List of works in the exhibition

Bruch, Pomegranate CheeksBarbara Bruch Pomegranate Cheeks, acrylic on paper, 2010, $500.
contact the artist for sale

Dubiel, Turtledove SongAlice Dubiel The Song of the Turtledove, acrylic & mixed media on paper, 2010, $180.
contact the artist for sale

Dubiel, under cedarsUnder the Cedar Roof: The Patterns of Life, acrylic & mixed media on wood, 2010, $500.
contact the artist for sale

Dubiel, ApricotThe Apricot Tree, acrylic & mixed media on paper, 2010, $180.
contact the artist for sale

Dubiel, your voiceLet me hear your voice, acrylic & mixed media on paper, 2010, $260.
contact the artist for sale

Glowen Garden of ParadiseKathryn Glowen, Garden of Paradise, mixed media assemblage: vintage egg  box, blown eggs covered with music,
ceramic found object, glass flowers 2010, $500
The artist will donate half the sale to MWC
contact the artist for sale:

Peters, In the GardenMoria Peters In the Garden, oil pastels, colored pen, India ink on scratchboard, 2010, $500.
contact the artist for sale

Karin Schminke Columbine 2, laser etched acrylic on aluminum, 2009, $1275.
contact the artist for sale

Wild Tomato, pigment ink and acrylic on aluminum, 2009, $1800.
contact the artist for sale

Theobald, Golden GardenGillian Theobald Golden Garden acrylic on canvas, 2005, $500.
contact the artist for sale

Teofanov, FallSarah Teofanov Garden Shrine: Fall [ah, throat chakra] mixed media on wood: found objects, beads, acrylic, 2010, $150.
contact for sale:

Teofanov, night #2Garden Shrine: Night Garden #2 [ah, throat chakra] mixed media on wood, found objects, beads, acrylic, 2010, $400.
contact for sale:

Teofanov, ToadGarden Shrine with Toad [ah, throat chakra]  mixed media on wood: found objects, beads, acrylic, 2010, $150.
contact for sale:

Teofanov, CreteGarden Shrine: Crete [OM Mani Padme Hum] mixed media on wood, found objects, beads, acrylic, 2010, $200.
contact for sale:

Teofanov, night #3Garden Shrine: Night Garden #3 mixed media on wood, found objects, beads, acrylic, 2010, $200.
contact for sale:

Cabeen, a seal Lou Cabeen Set Me As A Seal collage 2010 $400.
contact the artist for sale:

contact Alice Dubiel 206.782.7455 or for information and coordination of inquiries and sales

The Artists:

[where possible, links to artists' sites are provided; otherwise summaries are listed below]

Barbara Bruch

Pomegranate Cheeks
Your cheeks are like the halves of a
behind your veil.

Song of Solomon (6:7)

Lou Cabeen
Statement for Pleasures of the Garden
I have said for a long time that my work is an ongoing effort to say what I know. In fact, it reflects my ongoing effort to discover what I know by bringing to my worktable my experience, my insight and my questions trusting that meaning/understanding will emerge as I see surfaces, textures and imagery emerge. Embroidery and stitching have been a potent tool in this process of discovery for over 20 years. And my Seattle garden, perpetually overgrown and viewed from my studio window has provided companionship, inspiration and comfort as I sit and stitch my way to understanding. It also reminds me that to tend a garden is a valiant act, an act that flies in the face of cynicism and despair. A well-tended garden is an embodiment of hope.
This work is made in many layers. Many years ago I made collages from garden calendars and photographs from space as I emerged from a life-altering illness. Later I made digital prints of those collages. Now the last of the digital prints have been cut and re-stitched together and collaged again with fabric roses to evoke my response to the text that frames them, a text from the epiloge of the Song of Songs.
The garden is a powerful metaphor for the spiritual life, which can thrive untended but which flourishes best under a humble hand. When I tend my garden, it tends my heart and I am grateful.

Alice Dubiel
In this project, I conceived two responses to the Song of Songs: incorporating the text in abstractions of garden walls and references to ancient art traditions. The garden walls and texts are on paper, using a resist ink. These I mounted on wood. The other work refers to ancient mosaic and ceramic technologies in floors.
Recently I have been experimenting with a textured acrylic material on board which mimics ceramic crackle glaze. To incorporate movement and drama, and the colors of the garden, I chose green and azure backgrounds with pink highights. I also use mineral pigments which, through their iridescence, refer to the geology and biochemisty of our world. These materials are somewhat fragile but allow complexity in both surface texture and background variation, inviting comparison with the diversity and interdependency of ecosystems.
As curator, I invited artists to create new works in response to the collaboration with the Song of Songs music festival. Each had some connection to gardens and or pasture, most not working figuratively. Curating also became part of the creative process. The Song of Songs is a sensual text; its imagery links the enthusiasm of love with the senses, whether taste, smell or sight and the natural world. The focus of our work is through the visual.

Barbara Bruch
Short Biography
Born in Seattle, I spent much of my childhood in California. After returning to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, I received both a Bachelor of Art degree (1962) and Master of Fine Arts degree (1964). My studies included painting with Viola Patterson and Spencer Moseley, specializing in collagraph printmaking with the late Glen Alps. I also undertook special studies at Summer School at the University of California at Santa Barbara with Thomas Browne Cornell (student of Leonard Baskin) in “Old Master” drawing techniques.
From 1967 through 1978, I was Artist in Residence for the City of Seattle, teaching printmaking and painting in the Model Cities Program. I was also a team teacher in environmental courses at Seattle Pacific University 1974-78, where we hiked, canoed, and backpacked to endangered locations. Currently, I teach workshops on Collagraph Printmaking at Sev Shoon Arts Center in Seattle. For many years I directed gallery exhibitions at the Husted Gallery in Seattle, and I also restore art and old frames in my Studio Tara West.
Much of my work is based on an interest in metaphysics, archaeology, and the physical sciences, representing spatial concepts, healing, transformation, and cycles of existence. I have traveled several times to Britain, Scotland and Norway, exploring and documenting megalithic sites and museum collections.
Over the years, my paintings and prints have been exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Seattle Pacific University, Cheney Cowles Museum in Spokane, Henry Art Gallery, Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, Washington State University in Pullman, California State University at Hayward, and numerous galleries in Texas, Florida, Oregon, New York, South Carolina, Washington DC, and Chicago. I have also exhibited in Italy, Holland, Scotland, China, South Korea, and South America.
Currently, I have completed work on 78 paintings for a Tarot deck and accompanying book: Tarot of Cosmic Consciousness. This work is unique in its abstract approach to a long tradition. My paintings and Collagraph prints are in several public collections and over three dozen private Northwest collections. My illustrations have been included in magazines, including Woman of Power, We’ Moon Calendar, Technical Analysis Stocks & Commodities, and The Hastings Center Report and the cover for a textbook: Inherited Bleeding Disorders in Women (Ed. Lee, Kadir, Kouides). For more complete information, refer to the book and website: Women Artists of the American West:
Http:// Http://

Lou Cabeen
cv link:
Lou Cabeen lives and works in Seattle. She works in a variety of media including fibers and collage. Her studio overlooks her front garden which is always getting out of hand, but nevertheless provides continual comfort and encouragement. She makes stitched paper collages from old maps and calendars. She makes artist books using cloth, embroidery, collage and letterpress printing. She also makes large hangings from silk organza onto which she hand stitches with sewing thread.
Her work has been exhibited in a variety of venues including the Museum of Arts and Design, the Chicago Cultural Center, the List Gallery of MIT, the Museum for Textiles in Toronto, the Art Gym, Western Washington Gallery, and the Bellevue Art Museum. Most recently her work has explored the topography of contemplation and the role of place in the construction of meaning.
She is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington in the School of Art where she is Chair of the Fibers area and Co-chair of the Interdisciplinary Visual Arts degree program.

Lara Candland

Lara Candland’s book Alburnum of the Green and Living Tree (a finalist for the Motherwell, St. Lawrence, and Hudson Prizes) was just released from BlazeVOX.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fence, The Colorado Review, The Quarterly, Mary, FRiGG, EAOUGH, Barrow Street, Free Verse and many other journals, and her pamphlet, Tongue Child was published by the University of South Carolina’s Palanquin/TDM series.  She is a founder and the librettist for Seattle Experimental Opera, and a finalist in the Genesis Prizes.  Her opera, Sunset with Pink Pastoral with husband and composer Christian Asplund, was performed by Almeida Opera in London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

Alice Dubiel
link to resume

Kathryn Glowen
resume  pending
Moria Peters resume/bio pending

Karen Schminke

Sarah Teofanov
Sarah Teofanov is a nationally recognized mixed media artist, community organizer and activist involved with peace issues and sustainable living. Her artwork explores the use of myth in healing the community as well as the individual, and using the creative process to bring forth new visions of wellness. As a myth-maker, storyteller, activist and artist, she takes seriously the task of "vision keeper" for this culture and has created countless works which bring together community building and environmental activism.
Teofanov received a BA in Art from Western Washington State University, Bellingham. She worked and resided many years in Seattle where she was represented by Mia and Foster White Galleries. Later, she and her family resided in Montclair, New Jersey and she now resides with her husband and children in Farmington, New Mexico.
Her current work includes the development of a permaculture site on her family’s property where she has created a labyrinth, and maintains a daily practice of meditation and compassionate works through which she develops humility and patience. The Garden Shrines and the Hearts of Compassion series intertwine with these practices and have evolved out of her need to surrender to the symbolic language of creative process for problem solving when the path becomes obscured. She started Farmington Sustainability Group, and works on bringing practical information to her various communities, ranging from gardeners, peace activists, to paticipation in Buddhist practice.
Teofanov’s work regularly appears in We’Moon and the Lunar Calendars, and two extensive video documentaries have been created on her work and life.
This exhibitions list includes her work during Seattle residence
Selected solo and two person exhibitions
Two Woman Bride, Carlyn Galerie, Dallas, Texas, 1993
Our Body the Earth & the Prayers For Her Recovery, Highline Community College, Des Moines, Washington
Art Downtown Gallery, Spokane Art School, Spokane, Washington, 1993
Making Up the Path & Other Myths, Chase Gallery at City Hall / Spokane Arts Commission, Washington, 1993
Invisible Journey, Foster White Gallery, Kirkland, Washington, 1993
Lilith: The Dance Continues, Lilith, Seattle, Washington, 1992
Our Body the Earth, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, 1989
Art from the Heart, Roeder Home Gallery, Bellingham, Washington, 1988
Dream Chambers & Night Visitors, Linda Meier Gallery, Seattle, 1987.
Selected group exhibitions
Crossings, Women's Caucus for Art National Exhibition, Seattle, Washington, 1993 3rd Annual Juried Art Show, Kirkland Art Gallery, Kirkland, Washington, 1992 Women's Struggles, Women's Visions, Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, Oregon, 1992
Rain Forest Installation, Art Works, Seattle Center, Seattle, 1992
Collaborations, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington, 1991;
Drawings, Foster White Gallery, Frederick & Nelson, Seattle, 1991
A Spirit Reigns, Marianne Partlow Gallery, Olympia, Washington, 1990
Dreaming the Earth Whole, Bumbershoot, Seattle Center, 1990
Watercolor Watercolor Watercolor, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, Washington, 1990
Lost & Found, MIA Gallery, Seattle, 1989
Facts of the Imagination, Washington State University Museum of Art, Pullman, 1989.

Gillian Theobald
link to bio/resume:

all texts and images copyright 2010 Alice Dubiel excluding texts and images generated by the exhibition artists, who maintain their own copyrights

photo credits:
K. Glowen with donkeys and yoyos, credit Ron Glowen
Moria Peters in garden with flowers, credit Moria Peters
artworks, credit artists, except
Sarah Teofanov, Garden Shrines, credit Alice Dubiel

unless identified, credit Alice Dubiel

Appreciation is extended to the staff of St. James Cathedral including James Savage and Corinna Laughlin for their contribution to sponsoring this exhibition.
I am deeply grateful to Ian McFail for his excellent preparation and installation of the exhibition.
I am indebted to the generosity and creative imagination of the artists in this exhibition and the visual arts community of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Thanks are due also to my family, especially my husband, Jim Hopfenbeck, for his patience, support and understanding.
Finally, I thank Margriet Tindemans for her invitation to collaborate with the Medieval Women’s Choir to create this exhibition. The continued sponsorship and support Margriet and the choir have provided is a perpetual source of nourishment and inspiration.

please put your responses to
Pleasures of the Garden: visualizing the Song of Songs
in the comment section below. All responses are public. If you would like to be on the mailing lists of Planet Art and/or Medieval Women’s Choir, please put your contact information below as well or post at the choir’s website.


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