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Lynne Riding

Ocean-7

Ocean 7

Lynne Riding seems to have a gift for finding a circular pattern in life and art.

_MG_8283During our conversation, she effortlessly formed full circles both physically and metaphorically, expressed in quiet shades, delicate yet strong lines, and meaningful shapes that appear and recur in her artwork and her personality.

Riding will participate in the third annual ArtFields, where she will create an installation of her newest works titled Concerning Being. These handcrafted, sculptural vessels have a vein-like, textural surface, “a pulse below the surface,” she says. “It’s about completeness, about loss, about displacement, and above all that, hope…hope that drives us all on.” The meditative process of installation suits her quiet work, and so she plans to do it alone. Her goal is to make it responsive to the site, a gargantuan 22,000 square foot space just outside of Lake City’s quaint downtown called The ROB.

Concerning Being

Concerning Being

Just days after completing that installation, Riding will open a solo show in the heart of Charleston’s gallery district. Her exhibition In The Air at Corrigan Gallery will incorporate a combination of two-dimensional paintings and drawings; some works have never been shown before and she created new pieces especially for the exhibition. Much of this work has to do with the ocean and energy, so not surprisingly the three-dimensional pieces that incorporate found objects use dried seaweed from California.

Ocean 6

Ocean 6

However, the beaches of the east coast inspire most of her works. While walking on Folly Beach, she made rubbings that she later integrated in wax encaustics. Riding gravitates toward the layering qualities, embedding possibilities, and the beautiful surface of encaustics. Those qualities of encaustics are often similar to her paintings—reductive explorations of “what to bury, and what to reveal.” She describes the painting-and-scraping process as “freeing, and unexpected, because you don’t know what you’ll get.”

“Paying attention to things, it’s so important, I think.” While she was visiting her parents in Wales one holiday, she noticed her mother saving eggshells. Her mother would scatter them in the garden to keep the snails away. The eggshell came to represent her parents and their fragility. Eggshells first cropped up years ago in a series of paintings in a Contemporary Charleston group show at City Gallery at Waterfront Park, and now again in the interior of the bowls, which aren’t meant to look egg-like, but may.

These sculptural works are a circular return to her 16-year-old self. She entered her Foundation studies at Hereford College of Art in the UK wanting to be a sculptor. She immediately followed with her BA at Manchester College of Art. Three decades later, she decided to pursue her MFA in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. The in-depth program “pushed me to find myself and own my artwork more than anything.” It was a rigorous process that turned her classmates into a supportive group of friends. “They broke people down to make them stand up…but it was the best thing I ever did,” she says.

Pt Reyes Series 2

Pt Reyes Series 2

Riding has taught thousands of art students at College of Charleston, from 1999-2009, and at the Art Institute of Charleston, from 2008 – present. She recently stepped back from her role as Department Chair at AI, and has happily returned to teaching.  “I’m trying to get a nice balance back in my life—the teaching, which I love, and my own work. We all went for a break, and I picked up this acorn; I’ve got hundreds outside my front door, but it’s because [I was away that] I was paying attention. I made a watercolor of it, and said, ‘look, it’s a vessel as well,’ not the acorn itself but the cap.” The fragility of the stem, and the gorgeous angles between the acorn and the stem reminded her of the ink drawings of power lines she used to draw in San Francisco, and later in Charleston…power lines in juxtaposition to an acorn stem. She saved that watercolor as a reminder to step outside her own door and make use of all the ‘acorns’ outside her own home.

As an artist, Riding’s strength lies in the presence and the thoughtful qualities of the work. She has a habit of taking daily walks and collecting little found objects that often seem to reflect her internal state at the time. For a while, she was only finding “broken wires and knots and things,” but after a little time away, she suddenly began finding beautiful, colored glass everywhere she looked. She believes in paying attention to these things. “I’ll go to walk by something, and think, ‘no, don’t be so silly, don’t bother’…but, no. No, it showed itself to you…bother.”

Pt Reyes, Seashore 5

Pt Reyes, Seashore 5

Riding’s advice to viewers on contemporary artwork:
Just give it time—you need to give it time, to spend time with it. If it doesn’t speak to you, then don’t bother, it doesn’t have to—
someone else’s piece will.

Upcoming Exhibitions
ArtFields, April 24 – May 2, 2015
Lake City, SC
Corrigan Gallery, May 1 – 31, 2015
Charleston, SC

Corrigan Gallery
62 Queen Street
843.722.9868
corrigangallery.com

words: Stacy Huggins

Pt Reyes 26

Pt Reyes 26

Posted in Visual on May 5, 2015 (Spring 2015) by admin.

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