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First Fridays at the Mill: DUET with John Dempsey & Judith Ernst

March 1 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm



“Challenging any preconceived understanding of pictorial space and the subjects portrayed, Dempsey reveals the human propensity to perceive patterns and to search for meaning and order in whatever chaos or confusion we encounter. (C. Greig)
Using three-dimensional pattern and tesselation in what are otherwise symetrical vessel forms, Ernst guides the viewer’s eye toward the discreet opening into the unseen mystery at the heart of the vessel.
Blurring the boundaries between time and space with the kind of shape-shifting imagery that lingers from a dream, Dempsey imagines their borders as porous and impermanent. (C. Greig)
Ernst treats the metaphor of the inner as a resonant subject matter for non-functional ceramic art pieces. Implied are the dichotomies between the inner and outer, the hidden and the seen, the created world and the ineffable mystery.”

About John Dempsey

After many years in Michigan, the painter, John Dempsey, has relocated to Hillsborough, NC. Painting on a large scale, with minute detail, he says of his work: “We experience our environment sequentially by immersion and over real time—temporally and causally. Moving through a collage of industrial, post-industrial, modern, and postmodern environments, we must work to resolve our understanding of landscape and nature within this episodic experience of place. These compositions are offered in order to visually explore and chronicle this complex dynamic.”
According to artist and author, Cynthia Greig, his paintings “. . .lure us into their maze, bringing together a dense arrangement of seemingly discordant imagery awash in brilliant color, form, and pattern.”

About Judith Ernst

Ernst describes her work this way: My work as a ceramist has focused on the interplay of traditional forms and sculptural expression. I use the vessel form conceptually, because vessels have an inside, an inner dimension. An enclosed form is extroverted; it displaces space and interacts with its environment. Imagine the same enclosed form but with a small entrance to an interior. The form becomes introverted, self-contained; it has an existential presence connected to its mysterious inner space. In the ancient world, vessels were used functionally, but also metaphorically in ritual and literature, employing some of the same ideas of interiority. Deep relief creates dynamic movement, leading the eye to the inside, opening a dialogue between the vessel’s outer planes and inner spaces.


March 1
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Eno Arts Mill
437 Dimmocks Mill Rd Suite 17, Hillsborough, NC
Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278
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