Central College News

Molly Wood’s Botanical Photos Exhibited in Mills Gallery

Featured: Molly Wood’s Botanical Photos Exhibited in Mills Gallery

March 6, 2020


Central College will welcome the photographs of Molly Wood from March 23 through April 17 in the Mills Gallery in the Lubbers Center for the Visual Arts.

“Wood’s mostly botanical photographs evoke a sense of haunting natural beauty,” says Joe Hoksbergen, director of the Mills Gallery. “This series of photographs comes out of a fascination with women of the Renaissance who used their knowledge of botanicals to serve as healers, sometimes in competition with medical professionals. In Wood’s words, ‘Botanical knowledge became dangerous knowledge and was the start of a long and complex history of power struggles and gender conflicts.’ The plants allude to femininity — graceful and delicate but also potent.”

“In these photographs, I use only natural light and style them to resemble Dutch still life paintings,” says Wood. “I use botanicals as metaphors for my own life experiences. Situations and relationships that can be beautiful, seductive, nurturing, life-sustaining and healthy when experienced in one way can also become toxic and poisonous when circumstances are changed or out of balance.”

The public is invited to an artist talk and reception in the gallery at 5 p.m. Monday, March 30. They are also invited to a poetry reading in the gallery by Professor Emeritus of English Keith Ratzlaff at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26. Ratzlaff used Wood’s artwork on the cover of his latest book of poetry, “Who’s Asking?” The Mills Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Wood holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in photojournalism from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and a Master of Arts degree in art history from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Originally from Alabama, she now lives in Des Moines, Iowa. Her work has been widely exhibited in Iowa and the Midwest.