Robert Chambers: Serenoa Repens

Serenoa Repens

On view November 18, 2018 – March 5, 2019
A solo exhibition by Robert Chambers
Curated by Deborah Mitchell
The AIRIE Nest Gallery

Until the early 20th century, all of greater Miami was part of the Everglades ecosystem. Today, due to dredging and ecosystem engineering conceived to “Drain the Swamp,” the historic Everglades Serenoa Repens has been diverted to the east and west, drying up land on the Atlantic coast for rampant urban development. Armed with an interest in molecular biology and physics, sculptor Robert Chambers explored sites from the headwaters of the Everglades to the back-country of the Big Cypress National Preserve, where remnants of man’s 20th century landscape interventions remain. Chambers observed, photographed, filmed video, and sketched these experiences in the field, as seen in this unique exhibition supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Sculptural works which mimic objects related to water, such as swamp buggies, airboats, abandoned farming equipment, a Nike missile, and abandoned storefronts, refer to the early industrial processes now deemed responsible for the Everglades’ contemporary ecological struggles.

Dr. Hilary Swain of Archbold Biological Station and Dr. Paul Gray of Florida Audubon supported Chambers with site specific research.

Related programs:

  • November 18, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., artist’s reception and tour
  • December 30, 2018, 1:00 p.m., curator’s tour immediately followed by a performance by Dale Andree, located on the 3-in-1 trail, Long Pine Key
  • January 20, 2019, 1:00 p.m., curator’s tour immediately followed by a hike with the bicycle theater troupe, Agile Rascals, located at the Southern Pahayokee Cypress Dome
  • March 2, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., AIRIE at PAMM, a conversation with Robert Chambers and Dr. Hilary Swain of Archbold Biological Station

Serenoa Repens is supported by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Archibold Biological Station has provided additional support for this exhibition.