Lydia Riegle and Phyllis Rider, in two solo concurrent exhibitions, explore the concept of individual and communal back story. Experience, memory, history and events often influence thoughts, emotions and actions in real time. With this show, the artists make visible the weavings of past to present by addressing shape, suspension, and shadow - images that invite questions, commentary and community.
Lydia Riegle: Artist Statement
Curious by nature, Lydia Riegle is fascinated with outcomes from using different materials and tools. Using line work, quick automatic strokes, blocks of color, and different painting tools, she often paints with a goal or concept in mind. Sometimes the idea is to show tension, ambiguity or simply joy. Her paintings are often complex, creating a first impression which leads to further examination and discovery. She finds inspiration in travel, conversation, reading, and in the inconsequential.
Riegle begins with acrylic ink to create a foundational organic structure. From that base, she adds oil with a deliberate mindfulness to enhance the concept. She finds the process to be a wonderful, exploratory journey where surprises happen. She responds to the uncontrolled nature of the ink and ground, and the organic structure with hard geometric forms. She works with the rhythms as it dialogues with structure, negative and positive space.
For Back Stories Riegle has created work using a limited palette to explore the concept of individual and communal back story as well as liminal space, a time of transition and ultimately transformation.
Image: Lydia Riegle, Back Stories #1 #2 & #5, mixed media, ink, acrylic and oil on canvas, 40” x 16” each
Phyllis Rider: Artist Statement
While visiting the country of Tanzania, Phyllis Rider was inspired to create her most recent body of work. She loves to communicate her excitement and her impressions of her travels through her art. The land romanced her with its wild animals and unique people, reminding her of her deep love of color, line, pattern and design. Back Stories is a culmination of these special moments in her life.
Rider’s paintings in this series is a combination of photo collages that portray the patterns of the colorful clothing, drawings on walls and animal fur that she witnessed in Tanzania. Her monotypes in this series are more intuitive, incorporating contour drawings of the bumpy roads in the Serengeti with her interpretation of the patterns, people, and designs that she witnessed. Her sculptures in this series are inspired by the slender figures of the Maasai people, the intense beauty of their skin, and the creative way in which they recycle found objects.
Rider’s visit was an enriching experience; however, she is haunted by many unanswered questions as she has witnessed the impact of climate change, the decline of animal populations, and the people’s struggle for survival in Tanzania. She is left wanting to know more of the Back Stories from the land, and the stories that have yet to be told.
Image: Phyllis Rider, Maasai, steel and found objects, 7’x 1’, 6’ x 1’, & 5’ x 1’