A permanent installation by the indomitable CandyCoated (formerly known as Candy Depew) is now on view in the entry foyer of our Dance Studio, which was once the “Play Room” of Alverthorpe Manor. The multi-media mural creates a visual mash-up of color, influences, images and techniques that has transformed the space.
I was invited by Abington Art Center to do an artist residency to help with reinvigorating their space, while finishing up the painting details during the installation of my recent bike mural in North Philadelphia. After my site visit to the Center and seeing the pristine new textile studio, the art deco esprit of the circular ceiling in the foyer of the downstairs dance studio, and the original wallpaper comprised of Victorian ladies in full period style dress hiding away in the adjacent restroom, a beautiful vision of a CandyCoated Maxfield Parrish-esque/James Turrell skyscape hybrid came into my mind. One with a golden light filled sky, the colors of the sunrise, dark rocky landscaping that gives great contrast to abstracted flowers, gems, and growing, flowing stylized leaf designs from wallpaper designs of the Arts & Crafts movement.
Sunrises and sunsets have often found themselves in my installations, symbolizing a wide-open future, freedom, beauty, the healing power of the natural landscape, and the strength of the sun. I have been working and living bicoastal for nearly two years, taking daily pictures of the Pacific Ocean’s horizon line and skyness as the sun goes to sleep. Spectacular sky displays of ever changing light act make it seem as if one is viewing a live painting one happening before your eyes. The expanse of space is phenomenal and magical. That is the feel I want in my work; dynamic, colorful space without end.
Crystals gemstones such as orange citrines, garnets, watermelon tourmaline, and peiridot have energetic properties and are special crystals that have been pigment colorants (when ground up and mixed with paint base) in great masters oil paintings, especially those of landscapes and portraits as the add luminescence to the work. Here they are graphically depicted as painted motifs and collaged stickers rather than infused with the paint, yet represent the same properties. Remember crystals are rocks; rocks are part of the landscape that is our earth. Usually found in the depths of the earth, here they are in the depths of the center under a golden panoramic sky.
Merging these visual aspects with my continuining academic socio-economic studies that include the history of architecture’s design effects on daily life especially that of women and children, and my work with a wide range of institutions (cultural/governmental), the title Ladies Room came to be.
Through art and nature we learn about the human condition, and ourselves art is an abstraction of nature and has been inspired by it for centuries. Style and design are evocative of the times; in this work concepts from Victorian era and motifs from the Art Deco epoque come together to create a dynamic context for appreciation, revitalizing space in the Center.