hidell brooks is aflutter about the two exhibitions opening this friday for painter sally king benedict and ceramic artist virginia scotchie. first thing that pops in our heads when we walk in the gallery is wow. that may sound a bit trite but the emotion and energy of the work can be felt at first sight. both southern artists have put forth a tremendous amount of effort in their work and the results are knockouts.
atlanta artist sally king benedict has a style of her own she has cultivated over years in the studio. sally studied art at the college of charleston and moved back to atlanta a few years ago with her husband and young son. she has been named southerner to watch by garden & gun, southern artist to buy now by southern living and has had numerous collaborations including charlotte based twine & twig most recently. bottom line is she is a creative force with a lot of talent. hidell brooks has watched her abstract and face paintings change over the last 5 years and are in awe of how much her work has evolved at the same time staying true to herself.
sally king benedict has created a visual vocabulary through her use of color palette and brushstrokes that is quintessentially sally. her work has caused a resurgence of the portrait, a painting in which the face and its expression is predominant, but a portrait in a totally new oeuvre that changes the way we look at a portrait. sally's portraits are not an exact person but a face filled with emotions particularly joy.
“i grew up believing that there was someone extra-special watching over me. the faces [that i draw] are combinations of people and places that all share a spirituality and protectiveness about them. i want them to find homes and families that they can watch over while making a space beautiful at the same time.”
"i approach each painting by considering the size and medium i feel like working with first. the rest follows with palette and subject matter. i create a base landscape with different strokes of mediums and marks, then sculpt it into something greater than just the exercise of a brush or piece of charcoal. it becomes what it is in just that way—solving a problem through composition, line, color, and balance."
virginia scotchie is a ceramic artist and area head of ceramics at the university of south carolina in columbia. she holds a bfa in ceramics from unc-chapel hill and in 1985 completed her master of fine arts at alfred university in new york. from making by hand her unique objects rooted in her everyday life to glazing them in her signature hues no step is left unattended by virginia scotchie. her keen eye is in every detail taken to create her ceramic objects and the final results are a step beyond your imagination.
virginia exhibits her work extensively throughout the united states and abroad, and has received numerous awards including the sydney meyer fund international ceramics premiere award from the shepparton museum in victoria, australia. she has lectured internationally on her work and been an artist in residence in taiwan, italy, australia and the netherlands. her clay forms reside in many public and private collections and reviews about her work appear in prestigious ceramic publications.
the idea of taking from one object and connecting it to another through the dissection of parts and pieces is a foundation of my recent work in ceramic sculpture. combined with this is my interest in the relation of whole forms to that of fragments.
exploration in the studio is and on-going visual investigation of man-made and natural objects. usually these consist of small things; ordinary in many ways, but possessing and odd quirkiness that pulls me to them. in some cases i do not know the objects particular purpose, function or where it may have originated. i feel this lack of knowledge allows me to see the object in a clearer light.
in some of the pieces i have abstracted from personal objects that have been given to me or passed on to me from a family member. usually they are things that have no monetary value. an old pipe of my fathers, a funnel from my mother’s kitchen an old bulb from the family christmas tree. a recent object that falls into category is a handmade wooden tool that was fashioned by my italian grandfather to plant his garden. slender and pointed with a stump of a side handle this small tool fit the hand of my grandfather and served him well. for me it not only holds visual intrigue but also a connection to my memory of him and the things he loved.
the worn, crusty surfaces on many of the pieces are created to give a sense of how time acts to make and unmake a form. this process can be seen in both natural and manmade objects.
i do not wish for this work to be named or labeled, rather, it is my intention that through the borrowing and reformation of objects the work might trigger one to look closer and find beauty and intrigue in the humble, ordinary and familiar objects that surround us.
it is very apparent both sally king benedict and virginia scotchie love the process of creating art and have each found their voice through their selected mediums. both sally and virginia will be at hidell brooks from 6-8 pm friday, january 6th for the opening. please call the gallery if you have any further questions regarding the new exhibitions.