The thought of a journey can conjure imagery of a physical trek, potentially through an unknown territory where one seeks adventure and self discovery. Regina Scully’s latest body of work, Elemental, which is on display at the Heriard-Cimino Gallery through February 25, takes the viewer on a partly mental, partly physical journey through mindscapes of her thoughts and ideas and their relations to the external world.
Scully’s acrylic on canvas paintings articulate her world, but also project a scape of the collective conscious and unconscious, providing an experience or world her viewer can escape to or enjoy. Her paintings are completely abstract, yet in them, Scully seeks to create places she would like to go.
Though her paintings seem to depict a certain “reality” — and to my eye, resemble something of a cubist deconstruction of a Claude Monet painting — the only elements of realism in them materialize from the mind of the viewer. Scully’s paintings are open for interpretation, and while the strokes may represent something for her, viewers are encouraged to use their own associations and memories to find hooks and images that draw them into the paintings.
Scully begins each individual painting with an overarching sense of an atmosphere she wants to create. Focusing on her varied and detailed brushstrokes, she uses intuition and intuitive perspective to conjure imagery of both known spaces and lost, ancient cities, generating maze-like environments. The blank spaces or color blocks become resting points for the viewer amidst the chaos of strokes. Though they are chaotic, the individual elements of Scully’s strokes unite to furnish the sensation that the viewer is standing amidst the elements of our reverberating, modern media-driven society and culture.
Though not as important to her as stroke, Scully uses color to evoke emotions — blues and greens represent the natural world, reds inspire passion, and grays may represent a city, with flecks of eye-catching colors standing out as distinct objects among more monotone pallets. Scully uses color and stroke to create habitats, using transitions between the different neighborhoods to bring individual elements of the paintings together to make a whole — like in an urban environment.
Scully’s paintings provide insight into her mind while creating spaces for the viewers to ponder their own. Scully draws beautifully on emotions and environments, enabling the viewer to explore and examine, like a traveler discovering an unknown landscape. Be sure to join Scully and the Heriard-Cimino Gallery at the Encore Opening Reception, Saturday, January 14, from 6-8:30.