''Hidden Water: Paintings and Sculpture by Judy Cotton'' Opens at Lyman Allyn July 14

New London, CT – The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings and sculpture by Australian born contemporary artist Judy Cotton. In an environment impacted by global warming, Cotton creates artwork with a focus on water, glaciers, melting ice, and insect life, offering a meditation on the natural world and the forces that threaten its balance. Hidden Water: Paintings and Sculpture by Judy Cotton will be on view from July 14 through November 11, 2018.

Judy Cotton was born in Australia in 1941 and has lived and worked in the United States since 1971. In 2008 she began living full time in Lyme, Connecticut beside the Connecticut River. The constant presence of this body of water—fast moving through most of the year, frozen solid in winter—has influenced and informed her work in different contexts and media.

In Cotton’s words, “I live beside water and am reminded daily by its constantly moving and mysterious presence that we must care for this precious element before it is irretrievably exhausted.”

Hidden Water: Paintings and Sculpture by Judy Cotton is a multi-media exhibition presenting art that speaks to the artist’s ecological concerns.

Art critic Sebastian Smee has described Cotton as “a passionate observer of the natural world, both in the wilds of America and in her native Australia... Cotton has long been drawn to the lives and movement of animals, plants, fires, floods, rivers, and skies—to life in flux.”

Over 30 of Cotton’s paintings and scores of small sculptures will be displayed in the Lyman Allyn’s second floor galleries, with one room imagined as a cabinet of curiosities containing sculpted nests, insects and other natural and artificial “specimens.” Through the creation of resin casts of an array of animals she has found in nature, Cotton addresses ecological degradation and species loss as well as an understanding of life, sociality, and resilience of all forms. Several water-focused installations will occupy the museum’s outdoor grounds, engaging viewers in a dialogue about water use, pollution, rising ocean levels, and other environmental concerns.

While touring the grounds, visitors will observe a dry river bed made from embedded stone, an ark made from driftwood collected from the Connecticut River, a bamboo channel feeding a working waterwheel, and a wasps nest large enough for visitors to walk into. Several other sculptures are installed elsewhere on the grounds, and visitors are encouraged to pick up a sculpture trail map at the Museum’s front desk to guide their exploration. In addition, an audio tour of the outdoor installations voiced by Judy Cotton and Sam Quigley, Director of the Lyman Allyn, will be available on Lyman Allyn’s app. Visitors can download the free app in the Apple App Store while visiting the Museum to experience a new way of encountering art.

Judy Cotton is an internationally recognized artist who has had 35 solo shows and participated in over 70 group exhibits. She has shown work in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea and China. Her work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Phillips Gallery, the National Gallery of Australia, The New Britain Museum of American Art, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, the Florence Griswold Museum, The Bathurst Regional Gallery and numerous private collections. A ten year survey of her work traveled in New South Wales in Australia in 2002-2003.

This exhibition is curated by the renowned scholar and curator Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims. A monograph on Cotton’s life and work, titled Judy Cotton Essential Elements, written by Australian arts critic and commentator Diana Simmonds, will be presented for the first time at the exhibition.

The following programs will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. For further details about programming, please visit www.lymanallyn.org.

Tuesday, July 17 | 5:30-7:00 PM: Artist Discussion with Judy Cotton & Diana Simmonds
Join the artist and the author of the book Judy Cotton Essential Elements, as they discuss Judy’s work and her point of view as an artist.

Friday, September 21 | 5:30 – 7:00 PM: An Evening with Sebastian Smee
Enjoy an evening with Pulitzer Prize winning author Sebastian Smee, art critic for the Washington Post, as he shares his thoughts on the current exhibition of fellow Aussie and friend, Judy Cotton.

Admission fees for the lectures are $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Interested participants should RSVP for each event to 860.443.2545 ext. 2129.

The opening reception will be on Friday, July 13, 2018 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Museum members are free and non-members are $10. Please RSVP to 860.443.2545 ext.2129.

Check the museum website at www.lymanallyn.org and the museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page for updates and additional programming.

Tours of the exhibition are available for groups. To schedule tours, call the Education Department at 860-443-2545, ext. 2110 or e-mail healy@lymanallyn.org.

For more information or images, please contact Rebecca Marsie at 860.443.2545 x2112 or at marsie@lymanallyn.org.

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About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses. The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sundays 1:00 - 5:00 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 2129 or visit us on Facebook or the web at: www.lymanallyn.org.