by Susan W. Pidgeon
I had to leave the island again to find some art. It’s a shame James Island does not have very many art galleries but maybe in the future that will change. I went to upper King Street this time.
For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Redux is a contemporary art center in downtown Charleston. It just moved from St Phillip Street to Upper King Street across from the John L Dart Library.
Gabriel Lovejoy’s Positional Ambivalence
The new location that houses Redux was once the home to a naval barracks, a skating rink and Port City Paper. It now houses the gallery as well as classroom space and 38 art studios that can be rented out. Currently the work being shown is by Gabriel Lovejoy, a North Carolina artist and educator.
Lovejoy’s show Positional Ambivalence is complex in that it seems to have many layers and resides somewhere in between reality and imagination. In his artist statement, Lovejoy states, “the truths embedded in us through heritage are collapsing. These paintings express the uncertainty found in today’s spasmodic atmosphere. A new reality has been brought forth through our media driven culture as multiple viewpoints have the option to take center stage simultaneously. The structure of connected symbols and combinations not of opposites, but of oppositions, exists to defy universal interpretation. Because of this opposition, the space that connects the two is energized like a magnetic field between positive and negative poles. The area within oscillation, between consciousness and unconsciousness, between yes and no, contains an exorbitant amount of extraneous visual information. This is the space where the accumulation of information floods the mind. This is the space that I record.”
See more photos here.
Kinetic energy suspended in time
Positional Ambivalence is aptly named. Ambivalence is the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas. Gabriel’s work does seem to have an internal energy and most works seem to hint at a feeling of kinetic energy spinning animal forms that are mere bits and pieces being spun in the moving atmosphere. A bird head here, a deer leg there, a German shepherd head ferociously biting the atmosphere, a huge bunny and flamingo head. Most of these works seem like a moment in time suspended. Even the swinging child’s shadow is stopped and the stag stops to look forever at the viewer.
Perhaps time is indeed suspended in Gabriel Lovejoy’s paintings which reside between purely abstract and loosely representational. You can see them at 1056 King Street until June 17th.
Susan W. Pidgeon, MFA is the owner of The Studio Art Center on Fort Johnson Rd where she teaches private lessons and art classes to adults and children. She received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2001 and has been teaching ever since. She has taught for the City of Charleston and Charleston County as well as The Artists Loft in Mt. Pleasant. She lives on and loves James Island. You can reach her at (854)202-5394 or email@example.com. You can find her at www.thestudioartcenter.com or her Yelp/FB/Twitter or Instagram pages as well.