201705 Dawn Holder and Melissa Cowper-Smith: Traces Remain

201705 Dawn Holder and Melissa Cowper-Smith: Traces Remain

May 12, 2017

Melissa Cowper-Smith is enamored with memory, with forgetting, with the fleeting nature of everything around us. Her 2D pieces begin as acrylic paintings digitally collaged with photographs and manipulated using specialized computer software. The resulting images are then pigment-printed onto paper made by hand from cotton and other plant fibers grown at Wildland Gardens, Melissa’s eco-farm. Each still image, each print, represents only a single moment in Cowper-Smith’s stop-action videos, multimedia projections that play with the representation of time’s passage.

If Death kept a formal garden, Dawn Holder’s ceramic sculptures might be his topiary. Carefully composed from discarded chunks of concrete and asphalt, adorned with blossoms and bits of plant matter dipped in slip and sheathed in pops of synthetic CMYK color, the objects preserved in this garden might seem to live (or die) forever, suspended in time like the victims of Pompeii encased in ash. Fired at high temperatures, each flower is a hollow clay shell, fragile and apt to crumble to dust. In Holder’s work, viewers confront an aesthetic of sickness — poisoned and barren.

Traces Remain continues in the Trinity Gallery for Arkansas Artists through August 6, 2017.


Missing Shoe by Melissa Cowper-Smith, 2017, pigment print on handmade paper (cotton, hosta, yucca, bamboo, daylily and linen thread), 22 x 15 inches.
Composition #145 (Three Flowers) by Dawn Holder, 2017. Found concrete, porcelain, mixed media, 6.5 x 6.5 x 5.5 inches.



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Dawn Holder and Melissa Cowper-Smith: Traces Remain