"Into the Dream" Paintings by Allison McClay; Sculpture by Cary Weigand
Name: "Into the Dream" Paintings by Allison McClay; Sculpture by Cary Weigand
Date: April 2, 2018 - April 30, 2018
Allison McClay's paintings are a journey into a series of dreams, or into the strange, borderless space we inhabit when we're somewhere between sleep and waking. Figures dissolve into abstraction, or are engulfed by and merged with plant life, seemingly as sentient (or more so), as the semiconscious humans they grapple with. Or embrace. Her insistence on leaving most of these pieces untitled allows viewers to enter the paintings with their own stories, memories, or allusions. Is this Ophelia, being rescued before she drowns? A baptism? When you move in to read the small words in the tape around a man's hand: “I won't I won't I won't” is he succumbing to fear, or fighting it? There are many hands in her paintings. Do they seek to comfort, or threaten, and how does the one they reach for feel about them? The viewer completes these paintings through his or her own perceptions—something that is always true when taking in art—but Allison leaves more than the usual amount of space in which that interaction can happen, making her work both personal and interpersonal; a creative dialogue. Cary Weigand's carefully wrought figures are alive with personality and character, and come straight out of stories, myths, dreams. Each piece seems to have a tale behind it, a tale of humans and animals traveling together in unexpected combinations, or in relationship to one another in mystic ways. There are no clichés here: a woman and a dog ride together on the back of a buffalo; a possum is curled into a pack on the back of a young woman in a cart; an ancient figure sits with an owl, and wears a star and a boat on her own head, shaman-like; is she dreaming of the travelers behind her? What do her rapt eyes see? There are mysteries behind these pieces. Cary mixes extremely fine work with cruder areas of slab, a fully handmade technique that makes them seem as ancient as the stories they create, or remind us of.