Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
Lauren Woods has painted places she had never seen or knew existed, only to find out later that what she had conjured in her mind exists in reality – both versions, nature’s and her own, coexisting in the quintessence of time and space.
If that sounds like heady stuff, well, it is. Woods, a Mobile artist and Auburn University assistant art professor, came to Pensacola State College on Aug. 26 for an Artist Lecture to support her exhibition, “Dream State,’’ which is on display at the Charles W. Lamar Studio at the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts.
Woods’ talk encompassed subject matter ranging from Einstein and space-time to the influence her experience as a ballet dancer and growing up in the kaleidoscope of Mardi Gras have had on her work.
“Dream State” is on display through Dec. 10. Admission is free.
“The concept of mythic time is contemplated visually through painting that combines fabricated and observed reality with beautiful narratives much like what happens when we are in a dream state,’’ Woods said of her work and the theme of “mythic time” which permeates her paintings.
“Embodied expression, nature’s consciousness and the transformational properties of time are over-arching themes in my practice. The concept of mythic time is contemplated visually through paintings that combine fabricated and observed reality with beautiful narratives much like we what happens when we are in dream state.”
She broadly defined mythic time as “a perpetual presence outside the linear perception of time, and abstract awareness where everything is happening all at once.”
That is, her work seems removed from time, therefore it takes on timeless characteristics of its own in its emergence into the haziness of dreams and like states, and the imagination of myth forged in mystical natural settings. Or, as Woods said, in that magical locale where “Once upon a time…” can become artistic reality.
Woods’ presentation took place in a lecture room set up next to the Charles W. Lamar Studio where her stunning, colorful pieces were exhibited. A packed room of students from four PSC art classes, as well as faculty members and visitors from the community, listened to the presentation, which was augmented with slides of her paintings, along with classic artworks from which she has drawn inspiration.
“Her work is incredible, honestly,’’ said PSC graphic design student Ian O’Brien. “The way she makes colors pop out – her use of colors is incredible and seeing it in person is spectacular.”
PSC students from Anna Cavnar’s “Drawing II” class were among those in attendance.
“It’s important for the students to see live work – to see the actually work in person,’’ Cavnar said. “It’s also good for them to hear artists talk about their work in a sophisticated way.”
Cavnar’s own work is also on display at the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts as part of the PSC Art Faculty Exhibition. Other art faculty instructors in the exhibit are Micah Cain, Todd Duren, Mark Francis, Mark Hopkins, Julie McGrath, Jason Pinckard, Kristen Regan, Jimmy Rhea, Christopher White and PSC
Visual Arts Department head Alaina Plowdrey.
The PSC Art Faculty Exhibit runs through Nov. 12.