‘Resilient’ art exhibit at 2TEN HAUSTUDIO takes on new meaning after Black River flooding

“Within the Resilient Bamboo” opens with a public reception 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at 2TEN HAUSTUDIO in Ivanhoe.

Heaps of water-logged sheet rock, splintered lumber and flood-rotted furniture line N.C. 210 near the border of Pender and Bladen counties, where the highway parallels the Black River. Just days ago, the highway and surrounding homes were completely under water. Yet, somewhere out there among Hurricane Matthew’s wake, a bamboo tepee stands.

Well before Hurricane Matthew sent the Black River flooding to unprecedented levels, artist Diane Hause installed “Within the Resilient Bamboo,” a retrospective exhibition of her paintings and photographs hung around a 15-foot bamboo tepee inside 2TEN HAUSTUDIO, Hause’s art studio and gallery in Ivanhoe.

The studio, which is situated on a slight incline, barely escaped the Black River’s reach, allowing the show to go on: The exhibition opens with a public reception 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. After Hause and her neighbors were forced to evacuate the area, however, the “Resilient” tepee has taken on new meaning for Hause.

“The first time I walked in my studio (after returning home), the tepee stood so looming and large,” Hause wrote in an email. “More beautiful than I even remembered … I sat in it and, well, just sat. I still can’t take in what I have seen and experienced. I drive down highway 210 now but I only still remember and ‘see’ the water, the Black River.”

While 2TEN HAUSTUDIO is located across the highway from the river, Hause’s home is built on stilts along the Black River’s banks. Before the river rose, Hause had 15 minutes to gather her belongings and evacuate. She and her neighbors took shelter at the Centerville Baptist Church.

In the rush, Hause, who has been fighting a long battle with breast cancer, forgot her chemo medication. After a week, Hause embarked on a three-hour effort involving two rescue vehicles, two boats and a military craft to travel the 15 miles and retrieve her medication. Along the way, she saw many of her neighbor’s homes submerged by the floodwaters.

“When the water finally receded about 10 days later and you could once again drive home, it seems that is when everything hit me,” Hause said. “The first time I made it into Wilmington, everything was going on as ever and all I could think was I had just left a disaster area … No one seemed to have any idea that just across the bridge there were people now homeless, animals, including pets, livestock and wildlife, all dead, just across the bridge!”

Guests who attend the opening of “Within the Resilient Bamboo” can write and tie a rice paper “hope/dream” message onto the bamboo tepee, which was built by Walter Bullard of Elizabethtown. After building the tepee, Bullard used the leftover bamboo to fashion various objects: small carved canoes, small cup holders and other “artifacts” that Hause will exhibit and sell at the show, with all proceeds going to flood victims, volunteer rescue squads and the Centerville Baptist Church.

— Justin Lacy for
November 3, 2016

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