The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts presents Sweet Impossible Blossoms, a show of new work by jeweler Arianna Bara, painter Chris Graebner and woodworker Ian Herdell. Just in time for spring.
The title of the show comes from Arianna Bara’s favorite poem “From Blossoms” by Li-Young Lee. The final stanza is There are days we live/as if death were nowhere in the background; from joy/to joy to joy, from wing to wing, from blossom to blossom to/impossible blossom, to sweet impossible/blossom. Says Bara “It reminds me that days of sweetness can exist even in the midst of loss and that the creative process can renew and spark even under difficult circumstances. I have used an ancient Korean gilding technique called Keum Boo to incorporate 24 kt gold into many of my new pieces. The gold is a brilliance arising from the blackness of the darkened silver. A sweet impossible blossom.”
Chris Graebner wasn’t familiar with the poem, but her new paintings are bouquets of flowers, so the title felt appropriate. “Now having read it, From Blossoms feels even more appropriate. The poem is about moments of joy and beauty and of living life in those moments with gratitude. Painting flowers is an exercise in taking something brief and mysterious and making it familiar and lasting. I find that the process of painting flowers makes them part of me. Perhaps it is some sort of Zen – paying close attention to each individual flower and petal – because it results in ‘knowing’ a plant in a way that makes it a permanent part of my world. I hope that spending time with my Sweet Impossible Blossoms will do that for the viewer as well.”
Ian Herdell is inspired by the beauty and structure of forms found in nature and brings that into his furniture designs. “I find that each tree has a story to tell, a snapshot into its unique life. My designs incorporate and harness the knots, splits, rot, spalting, special grain and sculpting done by insects, wind and weather. At times I also highlight these ‘imperfections’ with inlaid shells to bring more attention to them.” Among his influences are the simplicity and beautiful craftsmanship of Asian woodwork and the diagrams and sketches by naturalists of past centuries.
Sweet Impossible Blossoms will be in the gallery from March 22nd through April 24th with an opening reception in the gallery on March 25th from 6-9pm.
About the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts:
Owned and operated by 21 local artists, HGA represents these established artists exhibiting contemporary fine art and fine craft. The Gallery’s offerings include paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography, textiles, jewelry, glass, metals, encaustic, enamel, and wood. 121 N. Churton Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278. Phone: (919) 732-5001. The gallery is open 10am-6pm Tuesday – Saturday, 12-4 on Sunday. More information can be found on the HGA website: HillsboroughGallery.com
This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Orange County Arts Commission (funding from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.) We also thank Orange County Emergency Small Business Funding Program.
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