Photo by Etienne Frossard.
On display in the Art Center’s Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Gallery, Katrina Bello’s drawings and videos explored our complex relationship to the natural world. Knowable Earth included large pastel and charcoal drawings of imagined landscapes, small drawings of rocks, and a related video. Reflecting the idea that nature is experienced through the body, the tree bark, rocks, and ocean water referenced in the work are all things she has physically collected, held, or observed. The work is either monumentally sized or very small, prompting the viewer to feel immersed in a natural environment, or able to hold small parts of it in the palm of a hand.
Like Cohen, Bello created this body of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, while she was missing the tactile and physical connections to the places and things that normally inform her work. She challenged herself with the question, “How can I know them enough to make drawings?” Relying largely on her own memories and perceptions, as well as the testimony of others, she has recreated an experience of earth that is both knowable and authentic.
Katrina Bellow in her studio.