october through november
Featuring: Stephanie Chambers, Katy Horan & Kathleen Lolley
This exhibition showcases three artists that use old world flavors and dark folk tales to tell a story. Each artist starts with familiar but intangible themes – identity, history, storytelling, childhood memories – and through introspection and archetype bring these concepts to visual, narrative form. Acrylic paintings by Stephanie Chambers and mixed media paper collage by Katy Horan and Kathleen Lolley.
I'm drawn to flatness. There's no room for ambiguity there. As a genderqueer artist, I live with enough ambiguity projected onto me through assigned labels. Currently, I live in Brooklyn, but I grew up in the suburbs on Long Island. The art I make organizes things a bit. It's my response to the constant need of our culture to organize, label, and market to checked off boxes of age, gender, income and education. I redirect this cultural inclination toward organizing to nature and landscape.
For me, the core of art is visual communication. When I look at my world through that filter I can see how it communicates back to me. Things seem organized through labels because most people agree to a set of operating rules. All I'm doing is taking the organization that I see in my daily world and applying to things I'm trying to understand better like nature, suburban sprawl or death. Things seem less chaotic when they're neatly arranged. If my street wasn't organized it might look like an urban jungle. Imagine if the actual jungle was organized like my street? The paintings I make structure nature through the lens of an organized grid, in the way a park is natural, but planned.
My work examines female roles and representation found throughout history, art and mythology. I pull from a variety of sources, using mixed references and visual fragments to build new variations of familiar figures. My hope is that the image will be at once identifiable and ambiguous, inviting the viewer’s own imagination and past experiences to inform their interpretation.
Research plays a large role in my work. I derive visual reference and ideas from film, literature, the internet and countless other sources. I then filter and combine fragments of imagery and information absorbed from this research through an intuitive process. This allows me to explore subject matter and interests that range from Victorian spinsterhood to Renaissance portraiture to the archetypal witch figure. I also work to incorporate imagery from the books and movies that affected me as a child. By working organically, and moving between repetitive detail and loose experimentation, I am able to bring these varied sources together as singular characters.
Form, detail and gesture are also important aspects of my work. Solitary figures allow more focus on their interior structure and detail, which I intend to hold as much interest as the character itself. Historical costume has long interested me, and I use these inner details to reference varied eras of dress and decoration. Similarly, I use my character’s postures and gesture to explore those found in art history and illustration. While external research informs each piece’s narrative and concept, emphasis on form, detail and gesture inform its execution.
I moved to Kentucky nine months after my birth. I spent my childhood split between the green hills of Kentucky and the magical dark forests of Pennsylvania.
Storytelling plays a prominent role in my work. My earliest artistic inspiration came from oral family stories and folk tales. Love of narrative led me to film school and from there I found painting and writing.
As a result of spending childhood summers on my grandparents' farm, I use the forest as a backdrop. My paintings contain visual narratives usually involving imaginary creatures acting out scenes of magic and illumination.
I am very interested in exploring the unconscious influence of childhood in our adult lives. When I paint, I use innocence and playfulness to explore complex themes. This playfulness comes out through a self-taught style of painting, which contrasts the dark, intricate ideas woven into my work.
I derive visual inspiration from nature, folk tales, philosophy & music and seek to synthesize these elements in my work. My visual style is an organic mix of surrealism and folk art. I use a wide variety of mediums including acrylic, oil, paper-mache, gouache, mixed -media and collage. I strive to allow enough ambiguity for the viewer to draw upon their own imagination to create their own interpretation. My work is not about humans having a spiritual experience, but the spirits having a human experience.
I currently reside in The Dark Forest where I spend most of my time making crafts, comics and art.