JOAN WADLEIGH CURRAN

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JOAN WADLEIGH CURRAN's "emphasis on odd attractive things is deliberate and deliberative, as she is slow in selecting her subjects. For some compositions, Curran chooses from a broad array of oddments in her studio, while others are inspired by scenes she has come across in her travels throughout the city. Once her subjects are identified, she lavishes them with time, attends to the nuances of form, draws out the particularities of each. It is the wily and tenacious plants common to untended corners of the city that she celebrates in her large drawings  and vivid paintings. These are the survivors, as nature adapts itself to our built environment, able to thrive in a climate of adversity. Many have assumed out-of-the-ordinary appearances, but their grotesqueness and animation impart a strange beauty that Curran brings to our attention. While the drawings emphasize the twining vitality and interconnection of plants with their environment, the rich and sometimes lurid coloration in the paintings give them a more aggressive quality that is reinforced by the scale of the pieces. Curran glorifies these fantastical monstrosities with an intensity of detail that reveals the depth of her own examination. Ultimately, it's a very intimate process of discovery, a portrait session of sorts, stemming from her genuine reverence of things."

- Excerpt from Museum of Chain-link Treasures by Katherine Ware, Curator of Photographs, Philadelphia Museum of Art