FIGURES FUSED WITH THEIR SURROUNDINGS
In Holden Willard's paintings, figures meld into their environments. Areas of seemingly little import - the patterning of a jacket - are carefully rendered, while defining facial features and anatomy are barely formed. Figures become part of the greater atmosphere, eliciting the sensation that we are glimpsing at memories or dreams. Willard's use of saturated colors further adds to the feeling that we are looking at a mood, that we are immersed in a scene that does not stop for our gaze, that the worlds captured here are fleeting.
Figures interwoven with their natural surroundings spark feelings of interconnectedness. In Jessica Lee Ives' paintings and Samantha Appleton's photographs, dynamic bodies and their natural surroundings are entangled in motion; figures are subsumed by the movement of water and reflection of sunlight, and we cannot see their faces. In Colin Page's apple tree, limbs of the tree and figure are almost indistinguishable, colors repeat across the canvas tying the girl, tree, branches, and sky together.
FIGURES AS ARCHETYPES
David Graeme Baker and Sal Taylor Kydd use archetypes to more fully understand our humanity. The complexity and melancholy of being is most apparent in times of transition. David Graeme Baker paints figures on the cusp of adulthood. And Sal Taylor Kydd in her Janus Rising series, shows us women on the turning point of mid life. Kydd's symbolic images explore the dualities of fragility and strength, surrender and rebirth. David Graeme Baker's paintings use surreal imagery, in this painting borrowed drawings of the 1910 Little Nemo comics, to show the wavering space between childhood and adulthood, between imagination and reality. Baker's paintings are contemplative and beautiful, capturing the essence of our inner life.
THE LIKENESS IS IN THE POSE
Peggi Kroll-Roberts and Michael Stasiuk use the gesture and posture of the body to describe very specific people. The stance and position of each figure gives us the entirety of their character. Peggi Kroll-Robert’s people are recognizable as distinct and complex through their body language, detail of faces or careful rendering of the body is unnecessary. Michael Stasiuk pieces and positions together found objects to form full figures. It is in the angle of the hips, the hands, the tilt of the head, the weight of the arms that we feel these are particular characters.