Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Striking works of art find home at IBES

The Institute is now home to three compelling new works of art created by local artists Johnathan Derry and Amy Wynne.

Derry's "Are You There?"
Derry's "Are You There?"

Derry is the hand behind Are You There?, a sculpture on display in the lower lobby that, like all his work, seeks to reconcile polarities within the self and within society through the use of dualistic structures.

"The oppositional play of material and form creates tension, manifesting in visual motifs such as black and white, heavy and light, over and under, wherein two disparate ideas must co-exist," he explains. "Remnants of excavated common objects have become artifacts implying erosion and temporality, as well as the possibility for creation and regeneration."

Wynne's two oil paintings, Monarchy and Bivalve, are on display in the IBES main lobby. Wynne explains that she "believes painting can be a visual catalyst for reconnecting people with their physical environment."

"I strive to present a vision of the Earth and its organisms that communicates the unity of nature and the human spirit," she says. "Through my paintings, I hope to create a re-enchantment with nature when there is an urgent need for a renewed reverence for what we are quickly destroying."

Both Derry and Wynne feel strongly about the value of connecting across disciplines—both through the academic lenses that more formally call the Institute home and through their own artistic lenses.

"I am particularly inspired when I have the opportunity to collaborate with scientists and ecologists in the process of making my work," says Wynne. "My hope is that the Brown University community will find inspiration from my work as they continue to prepare students to envision a more just and sustainable world."

Wynne's "Monarchy" (left) and "Bivalve" (right).
Wynne's "Monarchy" (left) and "Bivalve" (right).

Derry sees his work as fitting into the Institute's mission through its implicit cultural commentary.

"Although my sculpture doesn't directly participate in the subject of environmental studies, it does act as a mirror for our social construct through the use of detritus and every day objects," he says. "As a result, my work provokes introspection and creative thinking, which is elemental to any inspired research."

To learn more about the artists, visit and