Illustrating the sheer power and majesty of our natural surroundings has always been a central tenant of visual art. From the ancient depictions of wild beasts at Lascaux to the epic landscapes of Romanticism, renderings of Mother Nature can be breathtaking and awe inspiring, even when they don’t deviate from what is real.
Tula Telfair, a painter and professor of art at Wesleyan University, has communicated this effect and drama that unadorned nature can have in a series of hyper-realistic oil paintings on display at Haynes Galleries in Franklin.
“Telfair has received critical acclaim for her grand landscapes that showcase the terrain and environment of majestic locations like ancient icebergs floating in frigid arctic waters or rugged mountain peaks drenched in the red light of the setting sun,” according to a release from Haynes.
Telfair’s work is particularly affecting when it captures the precious beauty of landscapes that are slowly disappearing. In An Agent of Seduction, the massive strength of an arctic iceberg is demonstrated through its overwhelming size and dominance of the foreground. Its sublime beauty is translated through the eery blues of the ice and dark purples of the frigid waters. But, doubtlessly brought as context from viewers, there is a sense that despite this power and beauty, the landscape presented here is fragile.
Telfair holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Moore College of Art, a Master of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University and a Master of Arts in Administration degree from Wesleyan University. Her work has been exhibited throughout the country for over four decades, from the New Orleans Museum of Art to the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts.
Haynes Galleries is located in Franklin. Visits are welcome by appointment only.