“Narratives #9” is a collection that brightens up my ongoing winter themes with this grouping’s subtext being “Interference”. It explores vibratory patterns and content in the spirit of emerging from the darkness of winter into the animation of spring. Emna Zghal’s “Vermont Trope” uses the natural surface grain of a wood board to create fine patterns, waves and static through hand pressure printing. The horizontal orientation suggests a landscape and by painting in or painting out certain areas she starts to create a composition in an otherwise “all over” field of marks. The fragmented white near the bottom might suggest melting ice, with the reds, blacks and warm yellows the brightening spring evenings. Nora Tryon’s “Arab Spring” suggests a politically charged energy as the critical ingredient that might be thawing this season of change. Her gothic rainbow constructed with nervous, scratchy lines vibrates and reverberates over a collection of haunted, floating eyes, suggesting an awakening from a deep dark sleep. Cecilia Whittaker-Doe’s “Crossing Wires” presents an interference of technology in nature. What might be a less than picturesque subject becomes a pleasing linear composition of saplings branches and oddly enough, wires! A preponderance of browns indicate an early season woodland scene and it is not clear if this is a path or if the wires are part of a purposeful structure involving the tripod of tress that dominates the overall composition. The full forest in the background echoes the diagonals of the main structure, which harmonizes and integrates line, color and form. Don Doe’s untitled collage is an animated clash of two figures, one a Picasso reproduction and the other a saucy period pin-up girl. Created to inform his sculptural works that explore overlapping figures with reconfigured anatomies, this piece fits into our theme of shifting from the dark of winter into the brighter days of spring with its division from top to bottom of dark and light. The interference is seamless despite the context of each image, with the fullness and proportion of both figures making the adjustment of two into one completely plausible. Melinda Barnes’ “Antenna” provides a literal representation of the theme of interference with a quiet and melancholy, yet familiar piece of technology. The soft cloudless sky and wispy antenna rods create a singular image that can be seen simply for what it is or what it represents in our collective psyche; a view cast towards the heavens only to be met by a thin gesture of diagonals and junctures that redirect our gaze left, right, up and down, searching for meaning and hope in a changing world.
Kenny Cole