In the month of July, DAAS Co-Op Art Gallery & Gifts presents Thereafter, the artwork of visual artist Danielle Branchaud.
The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, July 7 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. in conjunction with the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk. The exhibition will be on display through July 30.
“One of my greatest pleasures as an artist is to take time with depictions of nature. There is no shortage of inspiration to be found in what lies beyond this concrete jungle, into the great wide green spaces filled with countless living things,” explains Branchaud, who has been producing new pieces exclusively for this exhibit.
“In this venture I am reminded of all that connects us to every being, be it flora or fauna, and I humble myself before it – as a penitent in the sacred chapel of this earth. Even the smallest and simplest of creatures gives me joy to bring to life on canvas, as if in preserving them there I might preserve something of them for posterity,” adds the artist, who is known for the realism and enigmatic compositions on her work.
As Branchaud introspects, she describes speculation of a future that may be devoid of such wondrous life that gives her pause. “I wonder often how the world would be so sorely lacking and suffer for loss of any one thing – be it bird or insect, flower or tree. Then I can’t help but imagine how the world would thrive without us, that invasive human element.” – she states. “All of these thoughts are of course fueled by the growing anxiety of living on a planet during a time where its adaptation to our influence is reaching its breaking point. There may be no real means of re–establishing that delicate balance – no matter how painful it is to acknowledge. The reality of our world now has forever changed, for us and for all that which lives and breathes alongside us. Only time will tell if we can possibly persevere despite of it.” – remarks Branchaud, who also sees a remarkable endurance in nature. She has witnessed it again and again, in every place where once humans thrived – now abandoned – has been overtaken and reclaimed by new life. “The green and growing things will emerge and evolve long after we are gone. This belief – however dismal to some- gives me hope,” concludes the artist.
This exhibition captures the beauty of the perseverance of nature, as well as exploring those simple joys the artist finds by painting every fiber and feather. These paintings are not a death note for humankind. They are an homage to the affection Branchaud has for the living, from the familiar inhabitants of her own garden to the great unknowable beings under the deepest sea. “May they all live long after I am gone, and flourish in all that is left thereafter,” says Branchaud.
Thereafter explores a variety of local flora and fauna in traditionally beautiful depictions, but with a dark touch-and-cheek twist to each one. In this series there is a profound sense of the artist’s affection for these creatures, but with a subtle dose of humor and metaphor – as if to smile in the face of a world where nature thrives long after humanity’s absence.
DAAS Co-Op Art Gallery & Gifts is located at 1815 Fowler St. in the Butterfly Estates complex in Fort Myers. The gallery’s business hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More information about the venue can be found at daascoop.com or by calling 239-590-8645.