Friday, December 30, 2011

Flock Together


Donna Dodson: Flock Together
January 4 - February 5, 2012

Opening reception: Friday January 6, 5 – 8 pm
Gallery Talk: Saturday January 21, 3 – 5 pm
Closing Reception: Friday February 3, 5 – 8 pm
Gallery hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12 pm – 6 pm

Boston, MA: Boston Sculptors Gallery is pleased to announce ‘Flock Together:’ Donna Dodson’s second solo exhibition of her iconic wood sculptures. This show presents sixteen different interpretations of a bird-headed female form.

In this series, Dodson is exploring the idea that similar types of people choose to congregate with other like-minded souls, even if the similarities are beneath the skin, feather or breed, and not immediately apparent or obvious to the viewer. This series started with Cardinal, as if women could hold high office in the Catholic Church. Further imaginings led to the creation of Little Red Riding Hood, who is anything but little; White Stork, who is carrying a baby in her tummy instead of her beak; and Culture Vulture, who is highly cultured, deeply ravenous and hollow- lurking on the edges of culture to fill up.

The history of bird-headed female figures is as ancient as the goddess herself. Oftentimes, the animal human hybrid is meant to represent the stages of life, birth, marriage and death. Are Dodson’s figures representations of the stages in a woman’s life: birth, childhood, loss of innocence, mating, maturity, motherhood, old age, and death? Or do her figures allude to subtler stages of psychological growth and maturation, i.e. paradigm shifts in consciousness: the Little Match Girl - tending to the fire within, Red Tail Hawk, a school marm - for whom nothing escapes her watchful eye, or Bantam Babe- who is dominant as only a grandmother or matriarch of a family can be.

In general, Dodson likes taking on a negative stereotype like ‘Mother Hen’ and inverting the meaning of the image or misconception to shine new light on the truth or deeper meaning of perceived reality. Included in the exhibition are the artist’s color and compositional studies in watercolor, pencil and ink. These inhabit a psychological space, rather than the physical space of her sculptures, and are quick studies that demonstrate further possibilities of Dodson’s ideas. Fluttering about the gallery, they offer a vivid contrast to the central formation of the flock.

Flock Together' will be shown concurrently with 'Avian Language' by Andy Moerlein.

Update: Artscope magazine featured Flock Together and Avian language in its recent email blast, and on its blog. Boston Globe's, Global Business Hub featured an article on the global reach of the local arts community, with a focus on my experiences.

Image: Culture Vulture II, 40″ wood, paint 2011