Nancy Cohen, Hackensack Dreaming
November 5, 2015 – December 19, 2015
Opening Reception – November 5, 2015, 6 – 8 pm.
Nancy Cohen’s Hackensack Dreaming transformed the Schuylkill Center’s gallery space into an immersive experience evoking the complex wetlands of the Hackensack River. Made of over 130 pieces of glass, handmade paper, and rubber, Hackensack Dreaming explores fragility, perseverance, and the new realities produced by the human and natural colliding in unexpected ways.
The work is the artist’s response to her time spent exploring the wetlands around New York City – a place where human and natural forces meet and give rise to something wholly new. Cohen explores what nature means in an urban context and in a changing global environment, using a quiet, nearly forgotten marsh as inspiration and reference point. Tucked between a Walmart, outlet malls, and a wastewater treatment plant, and within view of the New York City skyline, the wetlands of the Hackensack River spoke to Cohen as an “isolated puddle of the organic in a deluge of the human-made.” Yet, nature has adapted and carried on despite this disturbance, with plants and birds making unlikely homes and building a new future in this space full of contradictions.
Hackensack Dreaming came to the Schuylkill Center after premiering at New Jersey City University, and travelled to Duke University after a six-week run.