stephanie imbeau : surround
25.nov 2016 – 29.jan 2017
VERNISSAGE : 25.nov 2016 @19:00
For her site-specific installation at Green Hill Gallery, Stephanie Imbeau has created a new series of “Wall Villages“ inspired by cliff dwellings and the Adobe villages of the American Southwest. The new works are created by folding and sewing cardboard boxes to create geometric yet organic shapes that nestle and stack together. The individual pieces of her new series are then joined together to create an abstract village emerging from the corner of the gallery space. By sewing, she asserts the handmade nature of the work, highlighting a time and labor-intensive process that echoes that of the mud communities which this abstract installation references.
Along with this new installation, one of her “Sewn Drawings“ will be on display. Many layers of simple house forms drawn onto tracing paper are sewn together creating a drawing that is part tapestry and part sculpture. This new sewn drawing is made with golden thread, which shimmers in the light but when in shade appears interestingly similar in color to the cardboard inhabiting the rest of the gallery. This unexpected chromatic kinship of packing material and precious metal adds a subtle commentary on the making of value – perhaps the worth of a community lies in the places we least expect.
Stephanie Imbeau received a BFA from The Ohio State University in 2004 and MFA from Newcastle University in 2007. Her competition-winning work Shelter made her the first female artist to adapt Channel 4’s Big 4 in London in 2009. She was the youngest artist in the show Homeland [In]Security: Vanishing Dreams at Dorsky Gallery, Long Island City, NY in November 2014. She has exhibited in Germany, France, England, Greece, and various locations in the US and has been featured in print in the UK and Korea.
Her practice investigates the way individuals seek community, personal security and a place to belong. She uses representations of protective structures as anthropomorphisms to explore this universal human impulse. These basic forms of shelter also provide the framework for a conceptual mapping of the barriers drawn to create safety and claim meaning using physical spaces. The simple outline of a house, for example, is both a boundary and a claim, “I am here” – with walls and a roof. She uses a variety of mediums with a specific interest in materials that posses the opposing qualities of utility and fragility, such as clay, umbrellas and cardboard