“Gurgle and Seep,” Laura Bell’s first solo exhibition at whitespace gallery, features stitched mixed media works that reference the human body and its functions and processes, as well as the exuberant persistence of living forces both deadly and benign. She has moved away from painting on flat surfaces to creating sewn works that rise from their frames towards the viewers.
For Bell, the act of stitching is simultaneously repetitive, meditative, and industrious. It is also a series of tiny acts of violence – cutting, piercing, stitching together – that when added up become a realized form. She directly handles the materials throughout the working process. The texture of them against her hands, the stab of the needle, the piles of knots, beads, stitches, and filled forms create an intimate and tactile working process.
The forms bubble, gurgle, boil, and emerge. They stretch and strain against each other, encrusted by milky blooms of knots or glittering clots of beads. As they creep across the surface of the piece, they become unruly and unpleasant, recalling itchy prickles, a parasitic mold, or an oozing bud.
The works grow organically. The paper or fabric is stained and painted, then beginning with a shape, a cut, or a stitch, each new form responds to the ones that came before. They replicate growth patterns as the marks slowly take over, spreading across the surface of the work.
Laura Bell received her MFA from the Tyler School at Temple University and her BA with a concentration in Art and Art History from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She is an Atlanta-based artist who has exhibited her work across the United States and Canada. Recently, she has shown her work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, Jennifer Kostuik Gallery in Vancouver, and Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia. In addition to creating art, Laura Bell is an adjunct professor at both Kennesaw State University and Art Institute of Atlanta.
Through March 30.
814 Edgewood Ave.