Friday, August 24, 2012

Objets Trouvés

The art of Reni Moriarity and Selinda Sheridan
by Alec Clayton

The Weekly Volcano, Aug. 23, 2012
"White Iris" by Reni Moriarity
Objets Trouvés is French for found objects, which very loosely describes at least some of the work or parts of some of the works by Reni Moriarity and Selinda Sheridan at Flow — another little gem of a show for this tiny gallery that’s open only for Third Thursdays and by appointment.

Moriarity’s sumi and watercolor paintings with collage and mixed media are nicely done, sweet and decorative. Selinda Sheridan’s paper sculptures with sumi, found objects and other media are even nicer. 

"Chrysallis," by Selinda Sheridan
Sheridan is showing a series of works called “Meditating on Ink” that consists of long, thin cylindrical objects like pieces of chalk or cigarettes in a pack that are lovely to look at. The cylinders, laid side-by-side, are white and decorated with delicate gray sumi painting. Verbal description does not do them justice. Almost minimalist and very soft looking, there is much more to these pieces than meets the eye at first glance. There are two versions of this work that lay flat in their boxes on a stand and a third — the best piece in the show — which stands upright on a small, book-holder-size easel. 

Another piece by Sheridan that I particularly like is “Remnants of Grief,” a small piece with cocoons-like forms nestled one inside another like rocks inside a shell. They’re made of papier mache, collage, sumi, a tea bag and a stone weight. The shell-like outer part is crinkled like dried mud in a desert. I was told she created that effect by doing the papeir mache over a blown-up balloon that was then deflated. However it was done, it is a nice effect.

All of her sculptural pieces are in tones of gray or in earth tones. She is also showing a group of four flat wall pieces in sumi and collage. The best of these is a simple little painting called “Tranquility: Barnacles & Rocks.”

"Inner Light" by Selinda Sheridan
Moriarity’s paintings in watercolor, sumi and collage are not as unique or as inventive. They are rather traditional paintings or fruits and flowers with soft edges to a wet-on-wet technique. The best of these are in a group of four paintings wall to the right and one on the back wall, each of which has flowers integrated into an atmospheric background that is painted with what appears to be some kind of resist technique — that is, something placed on the paper to prevent the paint from adhering in certain areas and then lifted off. These resist areas look like a tangle of leaves and limbs from trees. Moriarity unifies the flowers and the backgrounds very nicely.

Also featured is a collection of jewelry by Lisa Von Wendel.

[Flow, Objets Trouvés, Third Thursdays and by appointment, through September, 301 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, 253 255-4675]

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