Saturday, March 16, 2013

“He, She, We” the solo and collaborative works of Brenda Heim and Doug Hays Lake Eustis Museum of Art

What happens when you mix a calligrapher with a blacksmith? Well, when the sparks settle down, you have a show that is simultaneously spiritual, stimulating and stunning. “He, She, We,” featuring the solo and collaborative work of Doug Hays and Brenda Heim, is at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art from March 8 through April 28, 2013.  

Hays, a sculptor, began his career as a skilled craftsman and emerged as a sensitive metal artist who pushes his medium, making steel seem as if it flows on the wisps of wind.  His respect for his medium is evident.  He explains that metal is tortured from its original state to be slick and shiny, then rusts and drips downward, seeking its return to the earth. He manages to put lightness and humor into the steel, all the while creating a tension between the material and its message. 

Working with fire and its transformative power is what initially drew Hays to the medium.  His large scale works can be seen throughout Florida, but here, outdoors at the museum, they are more personal and accessible. 

Indoors, Hays has presented the equine form in a totally new light. Horses, riddled with negative space and with manes flowing in their imagined gallop, pique the imagination and spirit.

Heim, an abstract expressionist painter for more than twenty years, was encouraged to step beyond her small calligraphic pieces and go big. She approached the large white field and let the movement pour through her entire body, embracing the active, motion painting that has become her artistic signature.

Her work, richly based in the Asian sensibility, is large scale and free, combining  classical materials with an avant-garde sense of adventure. The works seem to emanate from a place deep within her, as though they call to her for a visual voice. 

There is a decidedly spiritual Zen quality to her work. Using broad brush strokes with sumi ink and acrylics, the enso form is present in much her work. The enso, or circle, is considered  an expression of the moment ... when the mind is empty and free to simply let the body/spirit create. Heim paints in the moment which seems to serenade her with a song that only she can hear, but one that enjoys a visceral presence through her hand. When she approaches a canvas she does so with an open mind and the inspiration, which she says sometimes is a great growl,  sometimes louder than others, rises within and through her, pulling her to the canvas.
Spirituality imbues the solo works of both these artists, but, it is their collaborative work that drives each to a new level. Together, Heim and Hays have created a body of work that is simultaneously divergent and connected. There is a tension in the juxtaposition of their respective medium, yet there is undeniable harmony. Heim’s enso form, loose and free, gets new energy in steel under Hays’ talented hand. One has to wonder how something so delicate can be so powerful. But, that is the magic of their collaborative work. 

Their collaboration extends beyond their studio work as they invite viewers into the process of creating art for public places. Collaboration under their artistic eyes took them to the classroom, where they worked with fourth grade students, their teacher, and other professionals in creating from concept to completion, a sculpture that will have a permanent home at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art. This project was generously sponsored by Quammen Healthcare Consultants and First Green Bank.

It has been said that art does not exist without the viewer. If that is the case, then give life to these works by seeing them at Lake Eustis Museum of Art. 

“He, She, We” runs through April 28, 2013 at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art. Located at 1 West orange Avenue, Eustis, Florida. Lake Eustis Museum of Art (LEMA), is beautifully situated overlooking Lake Eustis, adjacent to Ferran Park. Admission is suggested $5.00 donation. For information, please call 352-483-2900

by Fern Matthews
Fern Mathews is a mixed media artist recognized for her textural work and use of color. Matthews’ work is included in both public and private art collections throughout the country and The Caribbean, and shows in New York and New Orleans.

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

OAR appreciates your participation in elevating the arts and culture of Orlando and Central Florida.