Dana DeKalb

In This Kingdom by the Sea: Paintings by Dana DeKalb and Jane Fisher

"…For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) / it's always ourselves we find in the sea." e.e. cummings

The littoral zone is a scientific name for the shoreline, specifically the area between the high- and low-water marks, where the ecology is affected by the constant movement of the tides. This habitat, which fluctuates between land, sea and air, serves as a metaphor for the unpredictability and constant change of our lives. As the littoral zone repeatedly reveals what is hidden, we are reminded of our delicate navigation between the known and unknown, and of the illusion of command over our fates. Ultimately, each of us must try to find balance in a world beyond our control.

Dana DeKalb and Jane Fisher have both devoted many years to observing and recording human psychological interactions. In this show, they present an array of characters placed in natural environments that suggest a pause in a recurring action, such as the rhythm of the tides or the migration of fish and birds. The human subjects are drawn to participate in the natural cycle but are invariably set apart from it. Dana’s paintings include enigmatic subjects surrounded by deep water or wet marshland -- including a couple on stilts wading into the ocean and a man attempting to catch a flying fish in the surf. Out of their comfort zones, they seem oddly content. Jane’s sunburnt seaside tourists, reminiscent of beached whales, are also awkwardly out of their elements. Although they don’t realize it, they are like fish out of water; her shimmering exotic fish offered on platters are literally so.


For more information about Dana, please visit her website.