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Artist fragments, reassembles landscapes

Elan Chardin's exhibit on display through May at Illahe Gallery
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In “Dusk, Summer,” Chardin cut her original painting into small triangles, then reassembled them into an abstract piece. Jamie Lusch / Daily Tidings
 Posted: 2:00 AM May 14, 2014

Ashland artist Elan Chardin has pushed landscape painting into a new form by cutting her original paintings into small triangles, then reassembling them as abstract pieces in hexagonal frames.

The geometric results are on display this month in an exhibit titled "Altered Landscapes, Blue Dreams of Sky" at Illahe Studios & Gallery, 215 Fourth St., Ashland.

"They are cut and reassembled like puzzles," Chardin says.

Before she cut them up, Chardin says, her landscape paintings featured large, light-filled skies with small, darker horizons.

Landscapes traditionally are done in a horizontal format, or less frequently with a vertical composition. Chardin says people experience landscapes in real life above, below and all around them, and never in a completely static way.

"We view it in snippets and piece it together for our picture of the whole," she says. "So I wondered, if the elements remain, but are completely reorganized, will our brains recognize it? Could it be refreshing to see it this way?"

Chardin says she enjoyed breaking out of traditional rectangular or square frames for the exhibit.

To accompany the deconstructed landscapes in hexagonal frames, Chardin has also created mixed-media wall sculptures that feature parallelograms of wood. Added pieces, such as tiny white deer figurines, adorn the geometric wood pieces.

"It was like playing with toys," she says of the sculptures.

For more information about the exhibit, call the gallery at 541-488-5072 or see

Reach reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or by email at

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