Art and Sea
Two Installations at The Indianapolis Art Center
and the Indianapolis Zoo
November 10, 2001 (Zoo)-January 13, 2002
November 30,2001 (Art Center)-January 13, 2002
Above: Diver installing Rahn Eel in shark tank at Indianapolis Zoo
Shark swims past a grouping of sculpted stars by Catherine Rahn: Indianapolis Zoo
Diver with sculpted Eel, part of Rahn installation in shark tank at the Indianapolis Zoo
Sharks and Rahn sea stars from above
Rahn: The St. Anthony Dives Maui, Hawaii 2000
Above: A Glass Sea Star Installed by Catherine Rahn on the prow of the St. Anthony,
a trawler resting on the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Maui in the Hawaiian Island chain.
April, 2000. Select the image above to see the photo essay about the St. Anthony Dive
Fire shapes a Star: At the Appalachian Crafts Center on May 11, 1999
Deep Glass: Merging Art and Exploration
Catherine Rahn's source of inspiration is the ocean realm, where she has been SCUBA diving for two decades.
Since the 1980s, Rahn has been working in glass, a relatively new material for art that has attracted great interest among educators, collectors and the media. Glass is ideally suited to the creation of forms that parallel those found in the ocean. The flowing organic shapes inherent to working with blown and cast glass readily suggest sea forms. Although glassmakers have been making seaforms since at least the nineteenth century, these have always been objects for the curio cabinet, museum, aquarium. Few artists have ever attempted to combine art and exploration in the ocean realm.
In 1997, Rahn had the idea to take her work into the ocean as a way of merging her love of glass and the sea. Glass may be the ideal medium for art under water, as it is environmentally friendly (an inert material that actually gets stronger under compression) and symbolically loaded (the fragility of glass is an apt symbol for the fragility of the ocean). The work that Catherine Rahn places in the ocean never remains for more than a few hoursjust long enough to document the projectin order to further minimize environmental impact. During the many dives the team has made in Fiji and elsewhere, great care has been taken not injure sea life or to cause a safety hazard by breaking the glass. The compact scale of the work (most components under 12" in diameter and made of solid glass) minimizes danger to divers and to sea creatures.
Rahn has made two expeditions to Fiji (in 1997 and 1998) to install work on the reefs there. The Emmy award winning videographer Stan Waterman recorded this part of the project, and he will be the narrator for the video (Viti Vetri). Catherine also seeks a larger audience for the work, and so in late August 1998 she made dives at Ripleys Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where thousands of people saw her installing her artworks underwater and heard about the project from narrators positioned outside the tanks. It was especially gratifying for Rahn to see the reactions of children and work with them.
Visit the link below for an essay about the underwater expeditions in Fiji:
Above: Students surround the Deep Glass Pool exhibited at SOFA Chicago, November 1999. Click on photo to see more from SOFA.
Detail of Sea Star at Ormond Museum
For a view of Rahn's recent exhibition at The Ormond Art Museum visit:
Rahn at Ormond 1999
Rahn: Background information
of Colorado - Boulder, Colorado
of Colorado - Boulder, Colorado
Creatures Great and Small, Chappell Gallery - Boston, Massachusetts
The St. Anthony Dive and Exhibition, Elizabeth Doyle Gallery, Maui, Hawaii, April 2000
1999Deep Glass, Riley Hawk Gallery at SOFA Chicago, November 1999
Retrospective Exhibition, Ormond Memorial Art Museum, May-June, 1999
Reef Glass: Catherine Rahn, Coplan Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida, March 1999
Beneath the Waves, Naples Art Gallery, Naples, Florida, March 1999
Underwater Rahn, Burroughs Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC, August-October, 1998
Installation inside Sting Ray Bay tank, Ripley Aquarium, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1998
1994Museum of Arts and Science - Daytona Beach, Florida
Helander Gallery - Palm Beach, Florida
1993Gail Severn Gallery - Sun Valley, Idaho
1992Duncan Gallery of Arts, Stetson University - DeLand, Florida
Bell Gallery - Memphis, Tennessee
Boise State University Art Gallery - Boise, Idaho
COLLECTIONSMuseum of Arts and Sciences - Daytona Beach, Florida
Duncan Gallery of Arts, Stetson University - DeLand, Florida
Numerous private collections
“The Next Wave”, House and Garden (April 1992)
“Profile and Portfolio”, Arts and Science (Spring, 1992)
Rick Sloan, "Catherine Rahn" in Sun Valley magazine, Summer/fall 1999