In partnership with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, deCordova is pleased to present Carving out Fresh Options, a large-scale mural by acclaimed painter Shara Hughes on the Greenway Wall in downtown Boston. The project marks the sixth temporary installation to activate Boston’s Dewey Square Park, located across from South Station.
The mural is based on Hughes’ diptych Carving out Fresh Options (2018), which is on view in deCordova’s Fourth Floor Hallway. This imaginary landscape plunges viewers into boldly colored, hallucinatory spaces. Sweeping trails of paint frame views of a dramatic waterfall, carved rock formations, and a winding river. Hughes uses varied painting techniques, including staining and airbrush, to create ecstatic interpretations of the natural world. She hopes that viewers realize these scenes are purely fictional terrains once they try to piece together the different ecologies, land formations, and unnatural color combinations.
Once translated to the outdoor facade by professionally-trained muralists, the swirling pleasures of Hughes’ work radiate at a monumental scale. The steeply receding perspectives and curvilinear passages of the fantastic terrain contrast with the urban geometries of the surrounding architecture and roadways. Hughes’ work brings to downtown Boston a catalytic combination of art and nature, an outlook that resonates with deCordova’s central mission.