Art Robin

Published on March 13th, 2014 | by Zamná Ávila

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Papered Over

Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer

Perhaps you have noticed that large fluffy cloud floating in the window of the Angel’s Ink Gallery on 6th Street in San Pedro.

With each exhibit, gallery owner Robin Hinchliffe is building the reputation of her gallery, along with the 7th St. gallery row. Her objective is to communicate with visitors to her gallery and the district.

The point of the First Thursday Art Walk in San Pedro is to connect artists with the public. The exhibit Papered Over, brings six accomplished artists whose works in this show share a theme of the many layers of life that humans experience throughout the society. Hinchliffe states the title refers not only to the collage process used by several of the artists, but also that the term “papered over” refers to hiding the real essence of an object.

“It is the joy of bringing ideas to people visually,” Hinchliffe said. “I could be seeing something that makes you feel wonderful or joyful, and you can’t even figure out why. When that works it is wonderful.

“People can go by on their sidewalk; they own it. They own that sidewalk. It is their space. But they can walk past this space, look in the window and say ‘Is that art? I didn’t know I liked art!’”

Hinchliffe has accomplished a superb task of presenting her curatorial vision of the layered existence in our society as a whole.

“You come in here [and] it can change your life, ” said a recent visitor to gallery.

The artist who created “The Cloud” is El Camino educator Joyce Dallal. Dallal is known to many local visitors to Crafted Art Market for her 10-foot tall sculpture titled “Receptacle.” The giant baby doll is filled with discarded toys manufactured from toxic plastics.

Dallal contributed two pieces for the Papered Over show, “The Cloud” and “Landscape With Approaching Storm.”

The concept for “The Cloud” came from visualizing the virtual cloud on the internet that stores all our data. In the new millennium we send our information to an anonymous cloud that has no substance and form, but refers to a familiar object we see every day in the sky.

“I had this vision of the cloud as a network of information, thought and human manufactured thinking that is kind of up there floating above us like a storm cloud,” Dallal said. “It is an invisible thing, like the way you know that the stars are out there, even though you can’t always see them.”

She wanted to create a physical representation of the virtual cloud and played with several iterations before arriving at this version.

“I walked into the office at school and they had just completed a shredding [of documents],” Dallal said. “They had a huge bag of shredded paper and I asked if I could take it.”

Shredded NCR forms, flyers, documents and applications from the art department at El Camino College came together to form a beautiful rain cloud of bureaucratic waste.

She commissioned a metal platform to layer the mounds of shredded paper. As she began to build the large piece it suddenly occurred to her that the result resembled a three dimensional version of a painting by surrealist artist René Magritte. Ironically, Magritte stated a desire to ‘make everyday objects shriek aloud’ and Dallal has also accomplished this with her cloud.

A subtler but more dramatic result was achieved in her piece “Landscape With Approaching Storm.” Resolutions and United Nations peace initiatives were downloaded, photographed and touched with charcoal. The powerful result of the framed collage is the Palestinian landscape laid out in broken promises.

The artist’s family is from Iraq, although she is Jewish which makes her highly aware of the Middle East conflict.

“I got involved in a group called, the Peace Process, a group of Arab and Jewish artists who exhibit together around issues of the Middle East,” she said. “Because of that, I decided I want to go back and look at the partition plan.”

She printed out the documents and somehow landscapes began to emerge from the political process that was created to divide the land.

Twenty framed images are laid out 48 by 90 inches and the observer views the desert landscape, while a closer look reveals the words and text on paper.

In addition to Dallal,  other artist’s also come together in this meaningful exhibition. Terry Braunstein, Angie Bray, Susanna Meiers, Christine Nguyen and Pam Posey. The exhibit will be on display through April 25.

In the meantime, Dallal’s baby doll sculpture is no longer at Crafted. It has been shipped for an exhibit in Charlotte, N.C. It is part of a two-person show called Sustain Me Baby, an exhibit focusing on the problematic issue of plastics disposal.

Details: (310) 541-4354
Venue: Angel’s Ink Gallery
Location: 366 W. 7th St., San Pedro

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