Adrian Rhodes

Hartsville, SC

I inhabit a space between site-specific installation and a traditional understanding of individual pieces in a gallery setting. Each piece is a statement within a larger conversation, isolating an aspect of the dialogue, examining it, and placing it within the context of other work in the space. The Skycharts collage series takes a common starting point- the found sky map- as its central motif, and explores how differences in the decision making process examine different facets of a shared experience. The repetition of the composition in the collages, installed in a grid, creates a structure broken by the movement of the bees in the woodcut wallpaper beneath. The tension between these elements creates both a framework indulging a desire for order, and a space for disruptions. Using prints as collage material allows the work to inherit visual information across pieces. I am interested in how this repetition of imagery and motif reflects recurring thought patterns.

My process reflects an obsessive desire to ruminate on past loss while preserving present joy. My work draws on this conflict between grief and joy, along with subsequent awareness of the passage of time. Pulling on iconography and mythology, I explore the recalibration inherent in the search for “new normals” as life shifts. Bees represent bounty and industry, while the matrilineal structure of the hive alludes to the primacy of the mother daughter relationship. Pomegranates are loaded images, simultaneously invoking abundance and loss. Images of sky charts reflect an attempt to control an uncontrollable universe. As I work, I attempt to frame a question- “How can we hold extremes of bitter and sweet - forces which should not be able to coexist- and how do we find the balance of them?”

Adrian Rhodes, of Hartsville, South Carolina, received her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Winthrop University in 2011. She is the recipient of the SC Arts Comission’s 2020 Individual Artist’s Fellowship and the 2019 SECAC Artist’s Fellowship. Her work has been included in highly competitive group exhibitions at well regarded museum and contemporary art institutions. Paper Worlds at the Spartanburg Art Museum exhibited her work with eight other artists who, according to the curatorial statement, "push the boundaries and capabilities of paper.” Coined in the South at the Mint Museum Uptown was a survey of groundbreaking contemporary southern art. She was featured in the 701 CCA SC Biennial in 2019 among 24 artists chosen from a group of 134 applications by well regarded South Carolinans. In 2017 she was included in two national print exhibitions: the Clemson National Print and Drawing Exhibition and VAE Raleigh’s Under Pressure. Her work has received numerous accolades including Best of Show at VAE Raleigh’s Contemporary South in 2018. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Carolinas.

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