Wilderness Management: Works by Gwyneth Scally

Exhibit dates: August 2 – October 5, 2013

Gwyneth Scally was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Her work is deeply informed by an early immersion in the worlds of politics and journalism; the malleable natures of truth and information are important themes in her paintings, as are the underlying psychological forces that shape the public worlds of mass culture and communication. The artist’s father, William Scally, is a British journalist who covers the D.C. political scene, including the Senate and the White House. Her mother was raised in the Italian community outside of New York, providing the artist with an exposure to Catholicism that has influenced her use of symbolism and metaphorical narrative. Scally spent much of her childhood on the family sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay; her work has been strongly influenced by the eerie dark waters of the Chesapeake, and by the strange primordial creatures that live in its murky depths.

After receiving degrees in both Art and Literature, Scally moved to Arizona, where she received her MFA from the University of Arizona. She has worked as an artist in Arizona for the last decade, interspersing her work with travel to- and exhibitions in- Latin America, Europe, Northern Africa, New York, China, Newfoundland and the Black Sea of Bulgaria. Scally has received numerous grants and awards; Most recently, Scally received a grant to spend the summer of 2009 in Glacier National Park, making video work about the vanishing glaciers.

The artist’s recent work has been inspired by her time in the desert and on various coastlines, and she has turned her attentions to issues of Global Warming, melting ice, and the rising oceans. Juxtaposing images of aquatic life and human subjects, and ideas of Arizona and the Arctic, Scally explores issues of displacement, nostalgia, and climatic longing, while suggesting deeper issues of an environmental order overturned.

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