Holly Laws & David Bailin
White Noise & Black Lines
White Noise & Black Lines, featuring work by Holly Laws and David Bailin, was on display at BAAC's Gallery on Main from June 16 - August 1, 2015.
Holly Laws is an artist whose work runs the gamut from sculptural objects and multi‐media installations to theater design and puppetry. She holds a BFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Her work is included in numerous collections throughout the United States. Laws is a Fellow of the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts in Three Dimensional Art and received an additional grant from RISCA for her large‐scale, interactive public art project, the DogTag Project. She has twice received funding from the University of Central Arkansas Research Council for work on her large‐scale immersive installations. Laws relocated in 2008 to Arkansas from Providence, Rhode Island to teach Art at the University of Central Arkansas. The move to the middle of Arkansas from New England has altered her artistic output in ways she could have never imagined.
The sculptures in this exhibition are inspired by the first houses built in Levittown, New York, the quintessential American suburb. Tiny reproductions of the Cape Cod house model, originally designed in 1947, serve as surrogates or place markers for past lives residing within those walls. Adding disembodied voices amplified by phonograph-like horns helps resurrect the dead and present realities perhaps not considered before now. My focus is to uncover the sublimated aspects of life in these homes (as defined through privatization of property and family) and reorient the architecture of space, mind, and possibility that the American suburban landscape presents. The work questions and addresses issues of class, gender, race, family relationships, our relationship to the American ideal and our relationship to each other. It is my hope that the layering of objects and shards of speech will allow viewers to bring their own histories and memories into play, and to discover things about their own lives and relationships perhaps forgotten, left unarticulated, or never fully understood.
Smaller versions of the 1947 Cape Cod house are reproduced in white and encrusted with crystals. The ghostly houses in various states of wholeness or disrepair can be read simultaneously as the accretion of memory, and the residue of prior actions, or the breakdown of structure, either individual or communal. The work both celebrates and commemorates, as it laments a crumbling existence (personal and cultural) that needs revitalization.
David Bailin is an artist working primarily in drawing. BAILINSTUDIO.COM
features Bailin’s current drawings as well as archived work in painting, writing, theater and performance. He received artist fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arkansas Arts Council and the Mid-America/NEA Fellowship Program. His works can be seen in public and private collections throughout the country, has received critical reviews in ARTnews, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the Oxford American Magazine, art Ltd and other prestigious periodicals and was the subject of a documentary entitled “Charcoal Lines” in 2008. In 2014, his drawing, Slippage (currently on display at the BAAC gallery), earned him his third grand prize award in the 56th Annual Arkansas Arts Center Delta Competitive. Bailin is currently represented by Koplin del Rio Gallery, Culver City, CA and Boswell-Mourot Fine Arts, Little Rock, AR.
Bailin on his works in the exhibition, “I explored in my last series, C, the contrast between the rational geometry and clean surfaces of the cubicle and the chaos and disorder created by circumstances beyond one’s control. If that series was inspired by any experience it was the years I supported myself as a part-time, full-charge bookkeeper in New York City. I handled the books of two small midtown businesses. I would arrive in the morning, get a cup of coffee, settle into my closet office, spread out the accounting book, and sort the receipts and bills. All day I entered numbers into the ledger, reconciled the bank statements, paid the bills, wrote out deposits for the bank, and prepared a summary of the accounts. As a job for an artist it was great. Everything was in past tense and everything balanced to zero. And zero was what I brought into the studio from my day’s work. That is, unless the ledger didn’t balance. Then the gentle dull routine of my day turned into a snarled and agitated scuffle as I poured over the bills, receipts and columns of numbers to find the missing pennies.
That was the cubicle ─ a mindless routine interrupted by the crisis of minutia. But over the years I forgot that during those hours of dull routine I dreamt ─ I drew in my head the next painting, thought out a piece of theater business, experienced fragments of images and spoken lines. For me, those formless and fragmented daydreams that emerged between the debits and credits were more real and certainly more important than the ledger I worked over. And while the bookkeeping set the pace and place of my routine, those activities are now forgotten. My dreams in the cubicle, however, remain, timeless and placeless, exposed and personal and emerging in this series. Dreams and Disasters is an extension of the C series ─ it is the dream of the cubicle.”