Brandt-Roberts Galleries is delighted to present “Wisdom in the Marigolds“, an arresting exhibition featuring social change artist Caitlin Cartwright, and introducing Cleveland native LaShae Boyd. Both born and raised in Ohio, these artists have been paired due to their complementary approach to subject matter as a means of resurrecting hope in challenging circumstances.
Cartwright has hailed her new body of work as an “exhale”- An almost radical endeavor to find comfort, communion and peace for herself and others. While living in a rural community in northern Namibia, Cartwright had become acquainted with a young boy, who was responsible for the well-being of some ‘zedonks’- half zebra, half donkey. He taught her how to herd and care for them. The young boy had endured the bereavement of three family members in a short span of time, but it was incredibly profound how much comfort and support he derived from his herd. This image of him finding solace through communion with them is one that Cartwright later drew from in a particularly painful season of her own. Her new series of paintings was born from this anecdote.
Comparatively, Boyd’s body of work speaks to her belief that any outward change in society must stem from within ourselves. If we continuously self-reflect and hold ourselves accountable, we can detach from what others have inflicted onto us through their personal traumas or fears. Boyd holds that fear is “the culprit to the mass destruction in our society.” Thus facing one’s inner darkness with courage can lead one on the path to truth and integrity. This body of work draws from her own narratives, however she utilizes subjects of her choice to convey them. This evokes a sense of relatability, but also reinforces the reality that we are in fact all one in the same.
In the compilation of their narratives, both artists are immensely influenced by what is around them, namely current events, pop culture, textiles, animals, landscape and music. Their work is delineated by their use of acrylics and collage, with a particular focus on textural elements. Cartwright employs collaged elements, acrylics and latex paint. Originally dabbling in oils, she found these mediums to be more accommodating to her travels, mobility and small work spaces she has been confined to. Similarly, Boyd concentrates on mediums that provide rich, palpable texture such as oil pastels, acrylic and collage. Overtime Boyd has learned to include more environmental atmosphere in her work; whether it be a room or outside in nature, it has added another layer of depth to the pieces and helped her work in more precise detail.