Fortify

Josie Morway “Adaptations”

New Paintings at Creatura House
705 E Pike St (cross street Boylston)
Seattle WA 98122

Opening Thursday April 12th 6-8pm
Runs April 12th – May 6th

Creatura House is very pleased to present a new show of works by painter Josie Morway. Her work is a blend of hyperrealism and the mystical, a reverent and dynamic look at the challenges facing life on earth today.

Josie Morway’s new body of work – hyper-realistic and saturated paintings of wildlife in strange tableaus, mysterious fur and feather combinations, birds sprouting flora and breathing steam – offers a surreal and striking vision of the beauty and brutality of nature. Each piece begs the viewer to look again, and to investigate deeper, finding the hope in imagery that at first appears uncomfortable, the disconcerting in what initially seems only lovely.

Recurring imagery of wildfires, and of feathers and beaks dipped in chemically-bright colors, suggest the encroachment of the humankind, the ways in which wildlife and wilderness must adapt to new demands and intrusions. 

“I’ve been thinking a lot about what we humans demand of – and project onto – the wild.” Says Morway. “Not only in the obvious sense of callous disrespect, the way we continue to relentlessly trample and deplete nature. Even those of us with the most reverence for nature demand so much from it… we expect it to inspire us, calm us, to symbolize us, to purify us and even to cure us. It’s a lot to ask.”

While Morway’s time-intensive oil painting techniques call to mind Dutch master paintings, and the symbols and poses of her subjects are suggestive of religious icons, she resists the impulse to see her birds and animals as mere metaphors for human stories.

“I hope that my pieces draw people in with recognizable expression and emotion, invite you to empathize and care about my subjects, but then also disorient a bit and ask you to reconsider your first readings. I want to leave nature a bit impenetrable in order to remind us (myself included) that it’s not all about us.”