Our life journeys are mapped like branches of memory and information coming together, as depicted in a beautiful new series of artworks by Hanna Pettyjohn. Her new exhibition In Medias Res at Silverlens Gallery references the retelling of her own history, creative process, and the passage of time through a collection of paintings, each titled "Anastomosis." In this exhibition, Pettyjohn reticulates the past and present in each painting through the representation of a universal landscape.
In Medias Res captures a visual expression of Pettyjohn's quest to be in the midst of things by merging her creative process as a metaphor to reveal hidden truths. She begins her process by selecting elements from Photoshop layers from what she calls the mother painting, previously seen in her 2019 exhibition Concurrencies. These exposed past layers are then translated for each of her Anastomosis paintings which refer to the point of origin of a memory. This concept is used to reference her past works as the departure point for this new series of works. The paintings feature abstracted landscapes consisting of a lake shoreline, debris covering the shore, and hints of the human presence. The muted color palette produces a feeling of sentimentality for this place which contains evidence of lived experiences. The landscape features various elements of nature and man-made objects, such as fabrics, tarps, and construction rubble.
Wandering through this shoreline, one finds a recollection of past journeys through objects observed in the debris. In this case, it is the natural landscape filled with representations of fabric materials to symbolize the idea of home, the migration experience, and memory. The references of fabrics depicted in these artworks seem to be recurring characters in her story, encapsulating this idea of "anastomosis." In other words, finding the connections between these objects and our personal history can show the continuing journey of self-discovery. More importantly, it becomes the consequence of our human condition to search for our own truth.
Altogether, the application of a previously used digital process to create the meticulously painted artworks presented in this exhibition invokes a metaphor for self-reflection. In Medias Res, thus, becomes the process of deconstructing an image and reshaping it in different ways to depict the memory of Pettyjohn's homeland in the Philippines and the passage of time. This abstraction of the environment and the leftover rubble of objects left behind serves as a testament to our existence.
The exhibition is an installation comprising nine paintings and nine sculptures are displayed for the public to encounter a physicality to the narrative of Pettyjohn's landscapes. The sculptural porcelain pieces are created with fabric that was dipped in casting slip and later high fired in a kiln. The result emphasizes the concept of memory as all fabric material is burned, changing the materiality of them into ceramic sculptures. These objects are set on top of two large tables placed in front of the paintings creating the point of origin that connects Pettyjohn's landscapes. In Medias Res by Hanna Pettyjohn is on view online and onsite at Silverlens Gallery from 5 December through 23 December 2020. Gallery visits are by appointment.
Lapanday Center, 2263 Don Chino Roces Extension.
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The gallery is open by appointment only until further notice.
Tuesday - Saturday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM