Inside Voice
Saira McLaren and Nancy Diamond

April 8 – April 30, 2023
Opening reception: Saturday, April 8, 3–5 pm

On view during Open Hours, Bushel programs, by chance, and by appointment
(for appointments, email

Inside Voice brings together two painters whose work is deeply informed by their shared environment, particularly the mountains that in our Catskills region are both around us and beneath us; as we view them, we are in and among them too. For each, a highly developed language of vision reveals itself as equally a language of emotion and experience. Nancy Diamond’s “exploratory” paintings are grounded in observation—the cataloging and collecting of visual information—but the resulting imagery bears an indeterminate, hallucinatory quality that seems to bend the rules of macro- versus micro-vision, inviting an inward-turning reception of what the artist terms a “distinctly sensitized” terrain. Saira McLaren’s vivid canvases—each one a view painted through a window, from indoors—are not so much abstracted landscapes as accurate pictures of an instance of apprehension, of an associative and affective meaning that resists resolution, providing, in the artist’s words, “a response to the culture of immediacy and the fragmentation of time.” Together, the paintings in Inside Voice invite a renewed curiosity toward our environment and toward our ways of seeing and interpreting it, aptly falling during the time of year in which the outside begins to call.

Inside Voice is part of our ongoing series of Alumni shows—exhibitions and happenings proposed by artists who have exhibited at Bushel in the past, and who agree to invite or engage at least one other artist or maker who has not yet been exhibited at Bushel. Inside voice’s curating artist is Saira McLaren, whose two-person show with Colie Collen, Deep Library, took place in 2018 at Bushel’s former location.

Saira McLaren is a Canadian artist living and working in the Western Catskills. Her work is rooted in landscape, both the external and internal world we move through. Perceptions of reality, repressions, and illusions are explored in the intersection of representation and abstraction. McLaren has mounted solo exhibitions at Sargent’s Daughters in New York and has been included in group exhibitions in Toronto, Los Angeles and Dusseldorf. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, New York Magazine, and TimeOut.

Nancy Diamond was born in New York City and now lives and works in upstate NY. She received a BFA in painting and film from Rhode Island School of Design. For the past 25 years, she has been exhibiting her paintings and drawings in the US and abroad. She has received grants and awards from organizations including The National Endowment for the Arts and the Marie Walsh Sharpe/Walenta space program residency.

Artists Read
The artists from this exhibition share the following books as sources, background, or reading companions for their work (copies of the books will be made available, if possible, on our shelves)

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair (rec: Saira McLaren)
Failure, edited by Lisa le Feuvre (rec: Saira McLaren)
The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson (rec: Nancy Diamond)

Images (L-R)
Left: Saira McLaren, Afternoon, 2023, 24 x 18 inches, oil and dye on canvas.
RIght: Nancy Diamond, night brain, 2023, 16 x 16 inches, acrylic gouache on wood panel.