Friday, January 28, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Recent Work by Shelley Warren and Cameron Davis at 215 College Gallery in Burlington

University of Vermont Department of Art and Art History Lecturers Shelley Warren and Cameron Davis’ exhibition 108 Blessings opens February 11, 2011 at 215 College Gallery, Burlington, VT, with an opening reception on February 11 from 5-8PM.

The exhibit features recent work of Shelley Warren’s sculptural/video installations and Cameron Davis’ paintings.

The title 108 Blessings refers to the number of prayer beads used in Buddhist, Hindu and Jain meditation traditions. The Latin root of the word meditate, meditatum, means to ponder. Though the lineage informing each artist differs, the exhibition reveals that both artists’ work explores perception at the edge of the physical and non-physical, meditating on the nature of being.

Warren’s 35 years as a Buddhist practitioner are evidenced throughout her work. The installations Humility and Namati ("bow", see image above) display the medium and metaphoric tensions between ephemeral video projections of a Buddhist nun and lay person, respectively, “merging” with the seemingly static material of maple sapling sculptures. The work explores questions of human-nature, identity, and sanctity.

Davis’ paintings Devi Prayer (see image at right) and Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night makes freewheeling use of symbolic imagery taken from various sources including: Hindu/yogic spiritual practices, esoteric Christianity, consciousness studies, the recent Arkansas blackbird mass die-off, and the notion of ecological identity as a vehicle for “addressing the “fierce grace” (Ram Das) of living in this “Eaarth-time” (Bill McKibben).

Shelley Warren, Namati, video projection on maple sapling sculpture
Cameron Davis, Devi Prayer, Acrylic on canvas