a muffled, tumble, thicket, tangle or bramble new work by london based artist selena beaudry opened this past weekend at hidell brooks. selena has been preparing for this exhibition for two years. her main goal was to give you an idea of what it would feel like to walk into one of her paintings. the moment you step foot in the gallery you are face to face floor to ceiling with a thicket of paper + linen woven together layer upon layer covering the walls in an ivy like manner. you feel as if you have walked into a secret garden. a secret garden grown years ago from a small pile of watercolor scrapes created into a collage that sparked an idea in selena that grew and grew. her paintings which are not present in the show are now three dimensional. looking back over the evolution of her work it is astonishing how clear the path has been and how all her mediums are intertwined together. her paintings, drawings, watercolors, collages and now her wall installations all flow into one another. they explore through layers how shapes connect. selena's unique visual language seeks to find a calming order amongst the noises.
painting is my first love. the languages of paintings are what drives my work the slashes, smears, and blobs are like words or songs for me. cutting up my paintings and drawings allows me to see my marks in a new fresh way. i create my pallets from the blobs, slashes, hatches and smears.
i have always wanted to walk through a painting. some of my favorite shows that i have seen in museums or galleries are when i am enveloped by the work. whether it creates a feeling of calm or frenzy. this installation is my attempt at placing the viewer in the midst of my artwork.
- selena beaudry 2018
all of my work is created by a series of marks or perhaps the lack of marks.
at some point along the way i began to cut up drawings. cutting up my work led to a rediscovery of my visual language. it brought up questions in my studio practice. what is a mark and what can i do with it? how can i push these marks in new and different directions? through this formal exercise i created three bodies of work — pile collages, collages (cutout) and paintings.
the pile collages are thoughts, a series of words or sounds. sometimes it’s a scream, other times babble or a screech. the collages (cutout) are more lyrical. they string together and flutter and dance across the page. some are tougher, zigging and zagging across the page bumping and bouncing into one another. they combine the dance with the babbles and the screams. each of the pieces begins to take on its own essence or story. a piece can be about a foggy day, a woman with smeared lipstick on her face, or eating so much you might throw up.
color has always been central to my work and i use it in a number of ways. it can be personal, from a memory or used as a tool like punctuating a sentence. the color shifts subtly as well as dramatically creating a sense of play in my work.
in the end, all of the work has been inspired by my surroundings, adventures and encounters and is a reflection of my ideas of beauty, indulgence, seduction and frivolity.
selena beaudry lives and works in london. she received her mfa from the tyler school of art in 2001. two of her large drawings were recently shown in line, touch, trace a group exhibition at the north carolina museum of art. she has been involved with the arts in north carolina for many years guest curating at the mint museum and currently having a solo exhibition at the grennhill center for nc arts in greensboro up through april 15th. selena spends her summers at the north carolina coast.
the exhibition will be on view through april 28th. please contact the gallery if you have any questions about the work of selena beaudry.