Picture Perfect

Opening Reception: Friday, November 9 from 6 – 10pm
Encore Opening: Friday, December 14 from 6 – 10pm
Showing through Friday, December 21

In “Picture Perfect” seven artists new to the gallery present paintings, prints and mixed media artwork that prompts us to consider how we interact with the wild and wooly, and how those interactions in turn change and shape us. How do we see the natural world: as fearsome and dark, welcoming and fuzzy, a place where we have a niche or an alien kingdom quite separate from ours?

Whether cuddly or cruel, the natural world and its animal denizens are omnipresent in the works of “Picture Perfect”. Some are a mix of savage and sweet, from the furry Little Monster Dolls by Savannah Horrocks—expertly combining cute and creepy—to the skeletal deer, serpents, insects and birds that appear in Lea Barozzi’s twilight Gothic paintings. Somewhere between “aw!” and “aaah!”, Mary Louise Silva’s series of close-up animal portraits presents both fuzzy flesh and bared bone, revealing the hard truth of the skeleton beneath the friendly exterior. And innocence gets skewered by reality when RAWKSON is around: his big-eyed, mute-mouthed stuffed animals are subjected to all manner of cruelties that subvert expectations and bring a dark laugh to your lips.

Nature appears to triumph over mankind in Jeff Leake’s Victorian-inspired animal portraits.  Each animal is shown against the backdrop of a far-off man-made setting, so that the creatures dwarf the buildings behind it. While the animals appear lively and healthy, the places behind them seem ruined, as if the ominous weather above conspires against the will of mankind. The human animal also makes an appearance: soft feminine beauty and animal ferocity collide on MJ Lindo’s wood canvases, where wild creatures are engaged in an almost totemic relationship with human subjects.

Smiling and biting both show some teeth, and these seven artists bring their work to a new audience and fresh perspectives to the complex relationship between civilization and the wild.

Participating artists: Lea Barozzi, Savannah Horrocks, Jeff Leake, MJ Lindo, Mary Louise Silva, RAWKSON and Joe Vollan.