Mary Hood generously donated to the AP/RC this Fall (2016) more than sixty copper plate and wood relief matrices, printed proofs, photo-transparencies, and editioned prints. This range of related materials and completed art works allows students, scholars, art historians, and others to trace the development of Hood’s techniques and methods as she articulates her images. Such features of the AP/RC are one of the characteristics that has made it such an unrivaled collection. We are very grateful to the artists who donate these works.
Hood’s images recover our kinship with other animals. In these recent works she places fauna and flora in dream-like surroundings: a mountain grove where human eyes replace the wooden whorls in the bark of aspen trees, or a dramatically lit forest clearing as does stand witness to an aging stag. Anthropomorphized plants and animals populate Hood’s environments, finding a bit of common ground between us and our evolutionary relatives. In Swimming, for example, a mother bear traverses a rushing, rocky river with her cubs aboard her body turned life raft. Perhaps a metaphor for seeking refuge or parenting, the mother bear’s struggle echoes those of our own species and, indeed, of other living organisms. These images suggest the impact of environmental stresses that humans have begotten. The issues are not merely those of humanity, but of all living organisms.