“New Visions” Artist Talks at Hera Gallery

So I’m still working on my adventure from last Friday, but I thought that I’d share with you a few images from the work of the artists of Hera Gallery who gave a talk tonight. Jill McLaughlin, Mara Trachtenberg, and MJ Yeager are all Hera members participating in the current exhibition New Visions. I work with these artists frequently, but to hear the stories behind their work is ALWAYS a real treat! I thought I’d share the snippets that stayed with me tonight.

Detail of "Hunger Games", MJ Yeager

Detail of “Hunger Games”, MJ Yeager

Much of MJ’s imagery in her photo montages pairs the decadent with the violent, something that’s intrigued her since she’d noticed newspapers with photos of war torn countries next to ads for high end goods. She discussed her story through metaphor, utilizing dendrochronology as a method of discussing one’s life. MJ has stacks of work in her home (soon to be moved to her new studio space I’m sure) and has long since abandoned categorizing all the imagery that she collects.

Detail from "Untitled" from the series "A Decadent World: Topiary Garden", Mara Trachtenberg

Detail from “Untitled” from the series “A Decadent World: Topiary Garden”, Mara Trachtenberg

Mara discussed in depth her process and how it’s morphed over the years. When she began her sculptures all had a short shelf life and only were used in one photograph. Now she will reuse and re-purpose her sculptures to create a more long term narrative as seen in her current Topiary Garden series. Mara also has learned that she prefers the scenes that happen naturally with no long term planning over those that were created from sketch to stage.

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Jill McLaughlin

Jill‘s work comes from wanting to work in the physical world away from the computer.  She will go out in search of old and unique objects, text, and fabrics to be used in her collages.  Jill also walks the beach daily in search of driftwood, drawn in by the unknown story behind it’s journey and transformation. From what I’ve heard of Jill’s studio, I couldn’t help but think of Joseph Cornell’s story and his unique boxes of found assemblage.

Again, it’s always lovely to hear the story behind the work. After all, we never create anything without some combination of internal reasoning and outside influences. We are made of stories and by sharing them we add to the stories of others. Look forward to new stories and adventures next week. May try going for a home run of an adventure next week, but if that fails I’m hoping for at least a triple. Ha ha. (Sorry to those who don’t like baseball, but I hope the reference is universal.)

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