Home Again, Home Again

Exhibit dates: February 9 – March 9, 2006

Redux Contemporary Art Center is proud to present Home Again, Home Again, featuring new works by Allison Reimus, Sean Riley and Carmela Laganse. Curated by Karen Ann Myers, this exhibition brings together three artists who embrace domestic objects and the decorative in their artistic practices. In their own respective media and intentions, each artist uses these elements to push the content and concepts of their artwork. Throughout the work in the exhibition there is a visual cross-referencing to domestic objects, decoration, pattern, fabric, craft work, and the human body.

Essay by Karen Ann Myers, Curator

What is a home?  Certainly for many of us, home is something we take for granted. Without specific cause to reminisce, we tend to forget the comfort, security and predictability to which we have grown accustomed. And, although home symbolizes a great consolation, in many ways it can also retain our most unsettling memories. Home is where we have grown, and been most ourselves; it is where we have loved and lost; it is where we are most free, but also most rooted. Part of truly realizing what home means, comes with leaving it. What has been left behind, and how are we to make and fill a new home?

Sean Riley’s work may address these questions most directly. His quilts are striking in their manipulation of pattern and line. The understated progression of color through the work is comforting, and the symmetry of the pieces reinforces this sense of stability. The fabric used to make the quilts is from the wardrobe of Riley’s late father. So, the quilts are much more than just an expression of form. They memorialize Riley’s father and memories. The incorporation of family history here references the rich history that defines quilt-making tradition in many households over time. 

Allison Reimus’ acrylic paintings create an interesting discourse with the quilts. Reimus incorporates repeated pattern, variations on a complementary palette and forms that are just slightly askew to draw in and entrance the viewer. The patterns and forms she employs are abstractions of interior designs, patterns, wallpapers and wood grains. The recognizable and familiar natures of these visual archetypes are alluring, while the constructions of compositions gone awry calls into question what we take for granted in our interiors.

Carmela Laganse shares an eye for beautiful textiles and rich pattern with Riley and Reimus. Her ornate furniture pieces, with their shining wood and porcelain facets, luxurious fabric and delicate trimmings, are instantly reminiscent of the elaborate everyday aesthetic of Victorian times. However, upon closer inspection, the furniture becomes rather disturbing. What would cause one to sit or lounge in such a position to render these pieces functional? Indeed, the works were created as vessels for vampire’s bloodletting. Laganse plays with the boundary between the home and what seems to be the exponential growth of pop culture, giving us a glimpse of the potentially unsettling ramifications and relationships that may result.

The works of these artists, while individually expressing unique concerns, share a consideration for, and interest in, what can shape our domestic interiors. Together their works create a new interpretation of the role of form and function in our dwelling places. In this innovative yet familiar surrounding, we are home again.

Read more about the exhibition in this article by the Charleston City Paper!