Exhibition Dates: December 14, 2019–January 3, 2020
Modern Eden Gallery proudly presents the gallery debut solo exhibition from Bay Area painter and illustrator, Stephanie Law. Stephanie Law's images trace the boundary between dream and reality. She delves into the pictoral language of allegory, explores mythology in new contexts, chases tiny worlds of wonder from an insect's viewpoint, and highlights the beauty of growth and decay found in nature. She interweaves texture, watercolor, gold and silver leaf, ink, and creates intricate layered pieces with resin and custom designed frames. In a meld of organic patterns and familiar archetypes, her paintings pose a question on the nature of perception and beauty, and it is against this backdrop that the ephemeral guides and strange creatures dance and beckon the viewer to follow through her various series.
Archetypes, the basis for the universal appeal of mythological concepts, are one of the defining inspirations for her imagery. This is mingled with the movement of dance. Stephanie has been a dancer for almost two decades, and she uses that experience of how the human body moves and emotes to create a bridge into her artwork so that not only do the humans dance across the page, but the branches of her trees move with a sinuous grace, and the arrangement of inanimate elements has a choreographed rhythm and flow. Growing up in California, Stephanie has been surrounded by the wealth of natural inspiration all around her. The twisting boughs of live oaks from the hills near her home insinuate themselves into her paintings. The chaos of Nature's wild growth, and conversely the beauty of decay, echo in the textures and fractal patterns of her work.
Statement from the artist: In tales, Sleeping Beauty slumbers one hundred years beyond a bramble wall, passively awaiting a Prince to fight through and save her, but the beings in “Conjure” wait for no one to rescue them. They make their own way through thorn-laced hedges, forging paths, following strange guides, seeking and conjuring from their own skin and shadows a reality of blue roses, birds, and fairytale creatures.
Tangled hedges creep along the boundaries in this series, as I wrangle with questions of what we unleash on the natural world. There are many shadows that result from humanity’s passage, and yet we are also capable of creating great beauty and art. I find inside me the simultaneous contradiction of creator, destroyer, preserver, and so I painted this series in which there is a constant shifting between an enchanted alliance, and a thorny struggle with nature. These magicians create with malleable shadows. They showcase their manipulation of their surroundings with ease and playfulness, sacrificing and destroying and weaving from their own essence, even as they summon forth living shades.
It’s an uneasy balance, and one that I seek to find for myself, but they are at home with the transformed realities that they create. The inhabitants of "Conjure" blend easily into a space where a ring of mushrooms can sublimate into the wind in a fleet of umbrellas, or where the moon’s glow is the result of bio-luminescent moths, and where blue roses dot the landscape with their inescapable presence that speaks of someone’s changing hand upon their petals.