“Capturing Stillness” Opening Reception
Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center
Jan. 18, 2019, 06:00 am
Capturing Stillness | Shannon Stackhouse & Stephanie Palagyi
January 9 – February 22, 2019
Reception: Friday, January 18, 6 – 8 PM
Member Exclusive Insider Series | Artist Talk prior to the reception at 5:30 PM. This exhibition is generously sponsored by Hude Legal Services, PLLC.
Nature often serves as a starting point in the artwork of both Shannon Stackhouse and Stephanie Palagyi. Although Shannon works in the medium of photography and Stephanie works in painting there are similarities in subject matter, style, and aesthetic choices. One common subject that emerges in both of their artwork is branches, roots, or simply organic compositions made up of linear grouping. Both artists choose to make work that is situated somewhere between representation and abstraction.There is a similar dream-like quality in the photographs and paintings, making everyday small experiences dramatic, softening the focus, and imagining color. Through Shannon’s black and white photographs, the viewer gets a glimpse into a world devoid of color, but full of contrast and contrasts. In Stephanie’s paintings, although in color, contrast is equally important. The drama that is created through dark to light contrast in evidenced in both artists’ work. What is it about roots? Many artists are drawn to roots as a subject matter, from Ansel Adams’ photograph, “Roots, Foster Garden, Honolulu” to Vincent VanGogh’s painting, “Tree-Roots”. Roots are the foundations of plants, the way plants receive their nourishment. They are often hidden from view, so when they are exposed it seems a revelation, special and unique. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, root systems are also interesting and beautiful in their visual complexity. Time is an important element in both artists work. The time that it takes for a tree to grow and develop a complex root system or a tulip to bloom and die are contemplated in two-dimensional space. There is an interesting contrast between the instant that it takes to take a photograph and the slow process of making a painting, the quick decisions that are made in the photographic process versus the slow decision making that occurs with the laying of paint. Both artists have a sense, however, of the meditative nature of artistic process in their work.