we love when our artists provide insight on their work. as art dealers it is a hard task to put into words exactly what an artist is trying to convey in their work. gallery artist mel rea has written a lovely artist's statement describing the motivation and influences which lead her to work on paper with ink, acrylic & powdered graphite. one recurring theme among our artists is the referencing of childhood influences.
working on paper
my grandmother was a radio dj for nearly two decades at one of our local stations here in cleveland, oh. she retired at a youthful 84 years. her specialty was big band and jazz with a particular love for the glenn miller orchestra. my grandmother is still alive and can speak in detailed description of every musical note and instrument that her beloved musicians performed from one venue to the next.
though my ears are not as attuned, nor my memory so particular, i too understand the captivating effects of music. i spend many a winter evening at severance hall watching the cleveland orchestra (notably one of the greatest worldwide orchestras). i will often close my eyes to feel the instruments as the drums resonate or the strings of the violin cascade through the air. i become mesmerized by the visual performance of the instruments, as the bows rise and fall or as the strings are delicately plucked in uniformed execution of the violinists. each performance is a balance of both attention seeking bravados and quiet echoes soothing the hall.
my works on paper are a visual attempt to record these bold boastings versus the quiets and calms of the symphony. the prominent black marks on my paper are perhaps the bellow of a drum, while a series of lines might suggest the rise and fall of the violin bows. my composition is seeking that musical balance between big and striking while quieting into calming tranquility. the white spaces of my paper are of equal importance to the blackened marks as the whiteness is necessary to create the calm.
i have discovered an interesting thing about myself as an artist. i’ve turned in so many directions creatively over the years with endless endeavors into various mediums. what I now realize about myself is that my greatest love is working with the organic softness and vulnerability of paper. no medium holds such fondness and familiarity to me as that of working with ink on paper.
-mel rea, 2015
hidell brooks will open the new year with three solo exhibitions for bill braun, ruth ava lyons and amanda talley on january 8th from 6-8 pm. please call the gallery if you have any questions about the works on paper by mel rea.