West Branch of the Susquehanna, 2006. Hot worked, slumped, and etched glass on steel. H 48, W 30, D 3 in. collection: connie and jamie
While artist Kathleen Mulcahy was canoeing on the west branch of the Susquehanna River over a decade ago, a sudden storm came out of nowhere, leaving her no way to escape from the furious pelting rain. The river was too wide, and the waters too rapid. “We were moving into it, and there was nothing I could do but submit," she told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet in a telephone interview. "And in that moment of submission, of letting go, I put my hand in the water. And after that moment, once I let go, we went right through the storm; and on the other side of it was clear skies and fresh air and beauty like I had never really experienced, from everything — my skin, the way things smelled, the air, everything was beautiful. I remember putting my hand in the water and saying, ‘what will my new work look like because of this?’” The answer arrived in a dream a few months later. "[Upon waking], I quickly grabbed a pencil and sketched this little tiny sketch of the image that I saw.” Mulcahy's first drop piece came soon after, titled West Branch of the Susquehanna (2006), which will be featured in her upcoming exhibition “Opposites Attract: Kathleen Mulcahy and Sylvester Damianos,” at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art opening on November 5, 2016, and running through February 2017.