Opening Reception: Friday, March 13 from 6pm to 8pm
The exhibition runs March 5 – May 3
Hill Center Galleries announces a new multi-artist show featuring the works of six artists: Kay Fuller, Tilden Luna, Alan Braley, Saya Behnam, Anne Bouie, and Peggy Fox. The artists cover a wide variety of mediums, including acrylic, watercolor, aluminum, and mixed medium assemblages.
Featured artists statements:
Nuances of Nature
Much of my work at Hill Center was influenced by various elements of nature. Trees, clouds, bubbles, rock and root formations show up in many of these abstract paintings. Colors and texture dance across the paper or canvas creating designs that have special meaning to the artist and viewer. What do you see?
Which Way Water Flows
These paintings address the opposing desires for autonomy and connection that humans seem to wrestle with throughout our lives. I create specific relationships of colors within one dot, patch of color, or rectangle of earth or sky so each may stand as an autonomous entity. I combine them using the interactions of their colors, frequency, and spacing to build a composition of connections that adds to more than the sum of its parts. Water, like thoughts and feelings, readily flows where it is accustomed to going. We can use awareness of our conflicting desires for autonomy and connection to contain particular flows in ourselves, and grow. Each painting holds a story of growth – feeling by feeling, image by image, dot by dot, thought by thought.
Paintings by Alan Braley
I strive to reveal the essence of the subject by means of abstraction and color. This emotional involvement helps me avoid the fear and anxiety you feel when you start. To do this I must be forgetful of myself, and project a consciousness into my subject to get its feeling. In this different language of paint we can only rely on partial statements or the power of suggestion. My primary concern is creating my own shapes and colors, fitting nature and objects into them afterwards.
Watercolor, acrylic and Sumi ink on Mulberry, Xuan, or watercolor paper
Three cultures have influenced my work: Western abstract expressionism, Chinese “Literari” free ink style, and Persian calligraphy. Accident, chance, and anarchy in nature are not labels for right or wrong, beautiful or ugly. They are unbiased truths. By surrendering to or guiding them, we respect the beauty and truth of their existence. In my pieces, I follow natural law and respect chance and accident. Dripping colors, organic shapes, and ripped and crumpled paper are external systems out of my control that co-create with me. This process allows me to show their beauty, their truth. Certain visual elements keep repeating in my work; these include organic shapes, varying layers of transparency, the word “To Be” (Hasti) in Farsi, and crumpled or ripped papers with the word “To Be” on them.
Morality Tales and More
Work on Aluminum
I have been developing this work for over twenty years in conjunction with series varying from narrative to abstraction.
I first began working on aluminum in 1989 because of the reflectivity and malleability of the surface as a ground, as well as its ability to hold both photographs and paint. I can draw into it, paint on it and collage images on top of it. It reflects the ambience of its surroundings as well as the contents of its surface.
The bulk of this material is from “Morality Tales” which are experiences and narratives on the dilemma of being human. The particular quality of the photographs is integral to, and is the dominant feature of the images.
The work begins with my black & white photographs. It grows out of a desire to personalize and elaborate on these initial images by joining them, collaging them, painting on them, and using aluminum as my ground. The aluminum reflects the surroundings to the picture as well as providing a surface that can be worked with paint, engraving and sanding.
I work from a library of my own photographs, combining images that employ an eclectic subject matter. These constructions are narrative in their point of view, and are personal and experiential in nature.
Collage traces it’s roots to surrealism and it is this use of the surrealistic discourse from a contemporary point of view that engages me.
Testimony of the Ancients
Mixed Media Assemblages
I reference universal spiritual principles found across time, space, peoples and places, particularly as articulated by pre-conversion peoples and cultures. My work acknowledges and incorporates ancient symbols, colors, placement, shapes, and directions. The sequence and quantity of any given combination of objects, artifacts and components is always intentional and conveys multiple messages that offer connections to spirit and traditional wisdom; as manifested through the tangible. I begin with observing the cycles, rhythms, and offerings of the Earth, and being present in day-to-day doings. Adopting a birthing approach, I actually make the work come as bursts of insight and inspiration, or simply starting a piece and having it guide its manifestation. This requires respect for the components, their sources, along with patience and a great deal of faith and trust in the process.
Hill Center Galleries are located in the renovated civil-war-era Old Naval Hospital at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. For more information, visit hillcenterdc.org or call 202-549-4172.