Vivacity exhibits 2 Central Florida sculptors

"Pagoda" by Kim Mathis

It’s not too late to see the artwork of two talented Central Florida women artists, Rachael Lloyd and Kimberly Mathis, at the Creative Spirit Art Gallery.  Located at 820A Lake Baldwin Lane, the gallery features mixed-media sculpture and ceramic artwork that combine aesthetic beauty and inner spirituality.

LLoyd has worked in ceramic, her chosen medium, in Winter Park since 2001 as a professional clay sculptor.  Her work combines the visceral, sensuous quality of ceramic with a sense of movement and action.  The pieces on display reference common, utilitarian objects such as bowls and spoons, but transcend their meaning and shapes.  A skeletal metaphor emerges from many of the pieces, as if they are assembled from multiple small bones, transforming the artwork – especially the large bowls that are earth-toned with umber and rust – into almost woven baskets.  The spoons, in contrast, are dipped in thick, glossy glazes, with handles again alluding to bones.  Lloyd slightly dematerializes her objects, with many small voids and open spaces, leaving the viewer with a sense of fragility and almost tenderness.

Mathis, a metal and ceramic sculptor since 1986, has developed a strong following around her Ceramic Dress series, and provides new work in this exhibit.  The dresses tell complex, feminine stories suggested by their form and the found objects embedded within them, and Mathis is further embedding the dresses themselves into large canvases and contexts.

In her assemblages, Mathis composes more narratives out of natural and handmade objects, and in “Reflections of Hawaii,” she uses actual bones gathered from a seaside visit on that tropical island.  This piece in particular connotes a sense of timelessness about the island, yet also a sense of aloneness, and is an unusally personal journey told through art.

Her bronze self-portrait is a magnificent classical piece, contrasting with her more experimental abstract work.  One of the most striking pieces in the exhibition is her “Pagoda,” a black ceramic pagoda containing a box within which is a small, porcelain figurine of a Japanese girl.  This poignant scene elegantly captures the restricted, outer appearance of traditional Asian women, yet the colorful, warm inner essence of their personalities.  It’s a beautiful piece and a strong step in her work.

Both artists exhibit strong sculptural talent and their work holds a sense of feminity rare in Central Florida’s Art Scene.  Their work shows evolution, and the show is well-curated.  It is hoped that we will see more of both artists in the future.

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