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The Boston Globe

Arts

Art Review

Seeds of imagination on display in Worcester

Worcester museum exhibition links nature and art as creative forces

WORCESTER — At first glance, Jill Slosburg-Ackerman’s new installation at the Worcester Art Museum looks humble and cluttered. Small framed drawings, photos, and more fill a vast wall. A pine cone sits on a table; a tree burl partly bitten into by the artist’s blade sheds chips and sawdust. There’s an empty stretch of carpet, a cushioned bench. The artist has taken a saw to a cheap end table or two. But is this an art installation – or the dregs of a yard sale?

“Jill Slosburg-Ackerman — In Rome: The Pine Grove. And. Natura naturans; natura naturata” clears unexpected pathways among these objects, and along the way uncorks the frothy ferment of imagination’s process for the viewer to take in. The last, Latin part of the title refers to the writing of 17th-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, and distinguishes between nature as its own agent and as a passive part of some larger agenda. “In Rome” posits that nature and art are all part of the same creative force.

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