Thursday, April 15, 2010

3rd Friday in Durham Brings a New Green Gallery Exhibit

It's Third Friday in Durham, and that means a new exhibit is ready to open in the Green Gallery at The Scrap Exchange. This month's exhibit is titled "Pieces of Home" and features magical handmade dolls by Julie Davis, nest-inspired wall scuptures by Shelly Hehenberger and mosaics from discarded china by Paula MacLeod.

This exhibit opens Friday April 16 with an opening reception from 6-9 pm. Gallery receptions at The Scrap Exchage are always open to the public and include refreshments and free artmaking in our Make and Take room. This month's reception will also feature the Blue Tailed Skinks and their unique sound of carnival-influenced old-time acoustic music. The "Pieces of Home" exhibit runs through May 15 and is open 7 days a week during normal store hours.

“My background is in theater, so I have a life-long obsession with costumes and story-telling. Working on a doll is like creating a character in a play, and sometimes the end result isn’t what I intended. As a teacher of mine once said, ‘You need to let the doll tell you what it wants to be.’… When I began making dolls, I bought new fabric, but over time I’ve found ways to incorporate recycled material into my work: left-over ‘fat quarters’ from a quilt shop in Chapel Hill; scarves from the PTA thrift shop; friends send me left-over fabrics from their sewing projects. … I also use ‘finds’ such as gift boxes, bows, buttons, and yarn left over from knitting projects. I’ve begun treasure hunting at The Scrap Exchange and find it a wonderful source of inspiration.”

These small sculptures range in size from a few inches to about 12 inches. They were made entirely from found and reclaimed objects, including some natural forms such as hair or seeds. The unifying element in these is the idea of nests. Each piece contains a small interior space that is like a nest or the inside of a seed; intimate and hidden. It represents the creation of a space for growth, change, and protection. Since adopting my daughter three years ago, this need to create such a space for her has slowly infiltrated my work, leading to the recent making of these three-dimensional pieces.”

“I've been planning this work for at least two years. I frequently get donations of broken dishes and occasionally I have large donations of coffee cups, tea cups and the like. All of this would otherwise find its way into a land fill. I have used many cups and mugs in my work, but for this group I wanted to really focus on the rituals of coffee and tea and see how creative I could be just using those things, including coffee and tea pots, sugar bowls and creamers. I am especially happy with the small portraits in which I used cup handles for the outlines of the face and neck areas.”

See you Friday April 16th at the opening!

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