Odyssey Below the Tides ~ Review

Jellyfish by Steven Miljavac (left), Mechanical Merkittens by Braden Duncan (right)

Odyssey Below the Tides is the 2nd group exhibition to go up at Tidal Artist Haven (which opened in January), and features nearly a dozen artists from around the Seattle area. The work on display ranges from depicting literal sea creatures like the graceful jellyfish of Steven Miljavac’s photography; to the terror possible in interacting with the wrong creatures, as in Angela Williams’ (Morbid Heart Design) work. All of which is balanced out by the vibrant colors of Larry Parker’s “Octopus for Lynn”.

Octopus for Lynn by Larry Parker (Left), Catch by Morbid Heart Design (Top Right), Kelp by Jessica Havens (Bottom Right)

Several of the pieces in this show include commentary on how poorly we treat our oceans, such as “10 Jihadi Dolphins” by RebelDog Studio which includes a placard next to it inviting viewers to search the piece for all the bits and bobs that are “in the ocean, but shouldn’t be”, according to painter Kree Arvanitas. Even with the seriousness of the subject depicted, Kree’s work maintains a sense of surreal playfulness at the same time.

10 Jihadi Dolphins by RebelDog Studio (Left), Octopi Hazmat Team by RebelDog Studio (Right)

Embrace of the surreal is a common theme among the pieces in this show. There are several merpeople in different situations, displaying the full range of merperson emotion from gracefully enjoying lunch with a guest in Jessica Havens’ painting “High Tea” (those who frequent Tidal Artist Haven may recognize this piece from the live-painting Jessica did at the Grand Opening); to the desire to do nothing more than scroll through her shellphone (looking at pictures of her dogfish) in Rachel Setzer’s “Ugh Merlennials”. The fantastical portion of the show also includes Braden Duncan’s “Mechanical Merkittens”, which capture reality with her photorealistic style and combines it with perfected surreality to demonstrate why Braden is one of the PNW’s favorite artists.

Amy Muse’s gourd purses (large dried gourds, painstakingly painted, decorated, and varnished), are unmistakably original for their use of materials and design aesthetic. “The Navigator” references the history of sea voyages, decorated with sea serpents, an astrolabe (a navigational tool), and embedded with the star-points of the constellation Orion. Amy’s work is well-complimented by the other sculpture entrants. “Oceans in Retrograde” from Washington artist Julie Yasny is a delicate felted wool piece embellished with thread and mother of pearl; and “Octy” by upcycling genius Amanda Drewniak, is an octopus made from recycled plastics, continuing the sub-theme of environmental stewardship in the show.

Odyssey Below the Tides will be open through mid-March with a closing reception on March 11th from 5-7pm*. Tidal Artist Haven’s gallery hours are Wednesday and Thursday 11AM-7PM, Friday and Saturday 12PM-8PM, and Sunday 1PM-5PM**.

*Due to health concerns gallery show closings/openings have been postponed, please check out FaceBook page for updates
**Due to health concerns our gallery hours are currently off-schedule. Please check our FaceBook page for daily updates or contact us for a private gallery viewing