Local artist Will Eskridge recently had another exhibit at the World Famous entitled Deep Blue Waves. This show featured works that depicted various ocean life in a mysterious and ghostly way. At once finely detailed and beautifully ambiguous, the works were cyanotypes of creatures assembled from plant life.A cyanotype is produced by coating a material with a photosensitive medium that is allowed to dry in the dark. Objects can then be placed on top and the the piece exposed to light. The image is created by the contrasting of areas that are covered by the objects and the empty sections of the substrate. The blue color that is associated with cyanotypes lends itself perfectly the Eskridge’s theme of the mystery of our oceans.
Some of the creatures depicted were easily recognizeable, such as a jellyfish and a hammerhead shark. However, Eskridge also included smaller works of “undiscovered” animals that appear as though they would be right at home in the darkest depths of the sea.
This show was unique for Eskridge. He often exhibits paintings that combine beautifully crafted animals with bright colors and geometric shapes. Deep Blue Waves seems to take a step into a more quiet and elusive place where the animals are not as fleshed out as the ones we encounter on land, and he trades his bright color pallette for a monochromatic blue. Eskridge eludes to themes of habitat destruction and resource depletion, so it seems appropriate that he would turn his attention to our aquatic neighbors as well as the bears, foxes and wolves that typically inhabit his works. It is always a pleasure to see an artist that is willing to dabble in other mediums and techniques to achieve their work, especially when it is done as successfully as Deep Blue Waves. The show was on display through August, and the opening reception was followed by a performance by Eskridge’s surf-band Forbidden Waves.