If Water Had Its Way

Susan Murrell

March 27 - April 11, 2021

Open Hours

Fri-Sun 12-5pm drop in or by appointment

Email info@carnationcontemporary.com
to schedule a visit


Opening March 27th from 6-9pm

Instagram Live walkthrough March 27th at 6pm

Closing weekend - a virtual conversation with Susan Murrell and Maria Lux (time and link to be determined)

Exhibition Statement

If water had its way is a meditation on the dynamic relationship between water in all its states, land and culture. Water functions as a sculptor of our planet and the primary component of our bodies, making it a potent symbol in rites of birth, life, and death. As a species, we also spend a good deal of time and energy trying to control it. This painting-centric installation explores inertia and equilibrium as our concept of and role in the landscape continues to shift amid the climate crisis. The title was taken from a passage in Anthony Doerr's book About Grace which motivated the thought experiment:  What if water has a sense of agency? And after everything has been undone, what will be left of our urge to undo?


Susan Murrell has been awarded residencies at international programs such as Yaddo, Ragdale and, most recently, Arteles in Finland and Westfjords in Iceland. Recent exhibitions include Edge and Mirror: Landscape in the Anthropocene, a group exhibition curated by Kirsten Furlong at Boise State University, Outland About, a two-person exhibition curated by Patrick Collier at the Schneider Museum of Art, and the solo exhibitions Absent Presence at Carnation Contemporary, and we are all cosmic dust at Portland State University. Susan has been awarded many professional opportunities supported by the Ford Family Foundation and the Oregon Arts Commission. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande where she glides on crystals and floats down rivers.


© Carnation Contemporary
photo credit: Mario Gallucci

8371 N Interstate Ave
Portland, OR 97217

Open Hours
12-5 Saturday-Sunday

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