Emotion In Motion
by Marguerite Serkin
A winding, grooved sidewalk leads down a short hill to the Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. Reminiscent of the historical charm of Old Montreal, the Gallery is just steps from Otter Creek and adjacent to the center of this bustling college town.
Illuminated through large paned windows complemented by ample indoor lighting, the Edgewater Gallery exudes warmth and vibrancy. With varied offerings of handcrafted jewelry and delicate watercolors, the gallery is at once spacious and welcoming. And in the main room toward the far end of the gallery hang the inimitable metallic works of Homer Wells.
Utilizing automotive paint on a “canvas” of precut aluminum, Homer Wells’ paintings express motion in multiple ways. Rolling seascapes that echo images of mountain ranges meeting the sky draw the viewer in and simultaneously push back, as against a current. Varied textures from smooth to scarified create a fluid yet defined surface to each piece. And disguised among these works is a mesmerizing hologram effect, emitting a shifting image as the viewer moves before each piece. Wells’ paintings carry movement within solidity, variation within form.
A visit to Wells’ studio in rural Monkton revealed the complex and eclectic intention behind the artist’s prolific output. While the gallery pieces are calming, even serene, Wells’ personal collection discloses a fascination with machinery and blunt metal. A cast figure of a woman’s head with spiked balls on chains resembling medieval flails shakes violently on a mechanical stand attached to an antiquated paint shaker. Entitled “Anger: Only I can save myself,” the piece is tripped by remote control “to show that the combustible trigger to violence lies within us,” Wells said.