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Allison May Kiphuth: Allemansrätten

Nahcotta is proud and excited to present the newest work from Seacoast artist and long-time Nahcotta associate, Allison May Kiphuth, from May 4 through May 27. The opening reception for Kiphuth’s solo show, titled Allemansrätten, is free and open to the public and will take place at Nahcotta on Friday, May 4, from 6-8 p.m.

A nomadic wanderer and explorer at heart, Kiphuth traveled both domestically and internationally last year, immersing herself in the wonderful joy and exhilaration of feeling, in the artist’s own words “happily small” within the beauty, expansiveness, and wildness of the world. The title of this show is borne from a Swedish law she firsthand experienced while exploring the Swedish countryside during a week-long stay in the country. Allemansrätten is essentially an honor system applied to the natural environment wherein you’re allowed to camp, walk, swim, bike, hike, and fully explore public lands, so long as the lands are not cultivated farm fields and so long as your intent is to enjoy and revere, not to disturb and destroy. It’s a law built on trust and a collective expectation for people to be gracious, grateful, and humbled in the presence of the natural world. 

Earlier this year, Kiphuth took to the roads of the U.S. for a solo cross-country drive, adventuring places unknown and unfamiliar, trusting and empowering herself to defy the notion that women cannot or should not travel alone. The work within Allemansrätten is based on photographs Kiphuth took during those days of solo travel, an amalgam of the meditative nature of driving alone on foreign roads, the discomfort of exploring strange places by one’s self, and the odd but wondrous bliss that inevitably follows. The mix of containment-free dioramas and Bioconstellation-style objects (watercolor and encaustic on layers of hand-cut paper) in Allemansrätten are evocative of her earlier works in their incredibly detailed adoration and reverence for the natural world and the awe-inspiring infinitesimal elements she’s forged by hand with unbelievable precision.