Paintings by Christine Ferrouge and scupltures by Samuelle Richardson
Artists Conversation with Andi Campognone
October 7 - November 13, 2021
Studio Visit Essay by Jamie Treacy
Unlikely Heroes pairs the work of two artists inspired by the underdog. Girls wander in a damaged forest, dogs work together to survive, and birds outwit their opponent by flocking together. As in folktales and fairytales, the humble and good have a chance of coming out on top.
Ferrouge's large figures in Unlikely Heroes are modeled after her own three daughters who collaborated with the painter for the source photography. In this series, they visited the Sierra Nevada forest after the Creek fire last year. Discovering a somber wonderland of ash and charred trees, the girls surveyed the damage and communed with a hurting forest. As many of the fires were started by actions from people, these paintings highlight a curious and precarious relationship between humans and nature. The three young powerful figures are seen as graces, fairies or heroes.
Richardson is inspired by the small creatures who may seem weak, but have a secret strength that brings them to prevail. Her sculptural animal characters are inspired by personal encounters and an empathy for their struggle. They may be threatened but they persist with cunning strategy. The Ghost Dogs represent the African Wild Dog who's very survival depends on the strength of the pack. Of her Birds, one alone might not seem powerful, but together they can turn the tables on a larger opponent.
There is a striking connection between the craftsmanship, color, texture, and presence of both Ferrouge and Richardson's work. The artists each use their materials with expressive gestural energy. Brushstrokes in the paintings and stitching in the sculptures show the artists' hand. At times the textures are rough and raw. Corresponding earthy tones and red highlights appear across the work. Together they form a unified enchanting installation.