Marta Hewett Gallery is pleased to announce Anima and Animus Illustrated a two-person exhibition featuring Casey Riordan Millard & Julia Oldham. The exhibition will be on view from September 16th through November 11th, 2017.
This exhibition pairs Julia Oldham (OR) and Casey Riordan Millard (OH) in a visual exploration of personal transformation borrowing images from the collective unconscious that transcend the individual psyche. Works are presented in a variety of mediums including - drawing, painting, scratch board, digital photography and video animation. Each artist uses their unique mediums to create emotional narratives that borrow from legend, myth, folklore and fairy-tale. While each woman chooses to employ detailed illustration, they approach their work in very different ways, drawing on archetypal images illustrating the anima and animus - the unconscious male and female qualities described in Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious. The inspiration for Julia Oldham’s newest body of work is the ages old mythical archetype - the Werewolf, or in Oldham’s case, the She-Wolf. The legend of the shape shifting Human/Wolf creature turns up in almost every culture on Earth, from Native America to Northern Europe. For Oldham, the She-Wolf holds particular fascination. “From Henry Beaugrand’s ‘The Werewolves’, to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the female werewolf in contemporary popular culture frequently serves as a visceral and physical manifestation of a ‘bad girl’: disruptive, hyper-sexual and homicidal and now firmly established in the 21st century imagination.” * As they dance, eat and play Oldham’s she-wolves struggle to find balance between their wild natural instincts and the accepted behaviors of human society.
For many years Casey Riordan Millard has been illustrating characters that tell the story of her own personal journeys. For Millard, the respite of creating the work is reflected in the, at times, sweet and playful representation of her subjects. Unlike Oldham’s raucous characters, Millard’s subjects are typically quiet and frequently without expression. Several characters appear consistently in Millard’s delicate compositions. A doll, an all-seeing eye, a glowing smiling orb and her iconic Shark-Girl populate most of the works. Shark-Girl moves through the landscape and interacts with other subjects with unchanged countenance. What may first appear as a simple storybook personality becomes, upon further investigation, a figure with deeper emotional and psychological concerns. Riordan Millard’s archetypes and fantastic subjects are juxtaposed with themes of loss, self-image, and habitual behavior that exist in our unconscious mind. Hannah Priest, She-Wolf: A Cultural History of Female Werewolves.
Casey Riordan Millard (b. 1973) is a Cincinnati-based artist working in a variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, video, and publication. Millard obtained a Bachelor's in Fine Art in 1994 from Ohio University in Athens, OH, and is currently an Adjunct professor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Millard’s artwork has been displayed in various cities and states such as Cincinnati, OH, Buffalo, NY, and Chicago, IL. Millard’s character, Shark Girl, appears in many of her illustrations, paintings, and sculptures. Shark Girl is a young girl with the head of a shark created in 2004. Her children’s book “Shark Girl and Belly Button” was published by blue Manatee Press and was nominated for The Foreword Reviews 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award, Picture Books. In addition, the book was a 2015 Ohio Book Award nominee.
In 2012 A fiberglass sculpture of Shark Girl was built for the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati. Visitors used the piece as a photo-op, turning it to have the Ohio River in the background. In 2014, visitors began to deface Shark Girl with graffiti. Soon after, Aaron Ott, the public art curator at the prestigious Albright–Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY purchased the sculpture and it was moved to Buffalo, where it became a popular local landmark. In May of 2017 the Albright–Knox Art Gallery opened “Shark Girl: Never Quite There” her first solo museum exhibition, on view until October 1, 2017.
The purpose of my work is to create a temporary distraction from the weight of oneself. My hope is to provide the viewer a moment of respite and wonder before their contextual experience informs their interpretation of what they see. In addition to the relief provided by their mental hiccup, I want my viewer to spend some time investigating the process and materials of my work. I leave evidence of my experimental engineering and problem-solving, so the viewer can feel closer to the works' function and creation.
(Casey Riordan Millard)
Julia Oldham (b. 1979) combines live action video with traditional animation to create narratives about science and nature. Raised by a physicist, an avid gardener and a pack of dogs in rural Maryland, her formative years were saturated with science and nature presented to her in a loving family setting. Her love affair with science burgeoned as she grew up and developed as an artist, and scientific curiosity emerged as a focus in her work. Oldham studied art history at St. Mary's Collage of Maryland and revived her MFA from the University of Chicago. She currently lives and works in Eugene, Oregon.
Oldham creates fantastic worlds by layering animated sequences and video footage, and through this process explores the far reaches of outer space and the deep seas, has dreamlike encounters with animated birds and coyotes, and finds the potential for romance in mathematical equations. Always featuring characters searching for the impossible (either animated or played by the artist herself), her works are guided by longing and desire that is rarely requited, and is a reflection of the artist’s own impossible desires to understand the unknowable and communicate with animals. She employs imagery and story-lines that develop from a combination of scientific research, dreams and obsessive reading.
Julia Oldham's work has been screened/exhibited at Art in General in New York, NY; MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, NY; the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; the San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA; PPOW in New York, NY; The Drawing Center in New York, NY; The Bronx Museum of Art in the Bronx, NY; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL; Espaço3 in Lisbon, Portugal; the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA; the Dia Foundation at the Hispanic Society in New York, NY; the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC; and Nunnery Gallery in London, UK; and she was included in the 2016 Portland Biennial curated by Michelle Grabner. Her work has been supported by Artadia, the Fund for Art and Dialogue, New York, NY; Artist in the Marketplace at the Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY; Art in General, New York, NY; the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in New York, NY; Outpost Artist Resources in Ridgewood, NY; Artists in Residence in the Everglades, Miami, FL; Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Clermont, KY; the Oregon Arts Commission in Portland, OR; and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL. In addition, Oldham works in collaboration with New York based artist Chad Stayrook. together they are known as Really Large Numbers.