Beep Beep Gallery's current exhibition, GOLD PARTY, introduces a number of new artists to the gallery's roster. Among them is Paige Adair. With a background in painting and archiving skills, she has a special eye for architecture and interiors. Drawing on her time at the Atlanta History Center and the influence of Brothers Grimm fairy tales inspired her interior series, including a video piece, in the exhibition. Here, Adair talks to CL about bling, her first show in Atlanta, and captivity in beautiful places.
You've had a handful of shows in Atlanta, including your first one at Eyedrum Gallery.
After returning to Atlanta the most important thing has been creating a productive working studio space alongside working a day job. I rent from a furniture designer who has been in his space for over 10 years and the atmosphere is really supportive and functional. I also got involved with different fine arts organizations by volunteering at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Archive and by planning my show at Eyedrum. It was especially helpful to re-establish a connection to the arts community after leaving the city for a couple years.
How did you prepare for the Beep Beep Gallery group show, GOLD PARTY?
Preparing for Beep Beep Gallery has been a lot of fun. I really wanted to connect some of the artifacts seen in the interiors to a sculpture combined with video. The framing device is an exaggerated version of an object that could live in one of the interiors. So I spent a lot of my time before the show fabricating and decorating the framing device as an object to hold the narrative that plays out between the two characters in the video. I also wanted a fairly seamless form that would hold the video player, so I did spend some time fussing with AV equipment to make sure this happened properly.
What's your creative process?
My process is very project based. I find a concept, film, or written narrative to work from and go from there. My work spans multiple media - painting, animation, and sculpture, sometimes a combination of the three. I enjoy working with water-based media, watercolor, gouache, and pencil. The watercolor works can become elements in sculpture or video, and I am brainstorming techniques to incorporate watercolor in costume design. The video piece, which is now showing at Beep Beep Gallery, uses painted elements both as part of the framing device and in the video.
Your interiors series, featured at GOLD PARTY, has an element of fantasy to it with the pastel colors and seemingly empty furniture.
The interior series was really inspired by reading multiple fairy tales that deal with themes of captivity in fanciful spaces. In the Brothers Grimm tale "Fitcher's Bird," a sorcerer continually lures female characters into confinement. After the women arrive at the sorcerer's home they are greeted with a house full of "splendor and everything the heart could desire." I wanted these interiors to serve the role of both place and character. My aim was to explore these spaces as devices to both entice and imprison.
How does your archivist experience help you see things differently and influence you as an artist?
My archiving experience, whether I planned it to or not, does end up influencing the work. During my time at the Atlanta History Center's Kenan Research Center I assisted people with a range of research requests for visual material. One of my favorite researchers was looking for interiors of Victorian mansions that once lined Peachtree Street. I must have absorbed some of her research when I began my interior painting series. Now as an archivist for an architect I spend my day viewing and processing architectural drawings, plans, renderings, and photographs all day long. I am excited to see how this will eventually seep into my practice.
If you could have any guest (celebrity or not) come to your gold party who would it be?
My grandma, she had the best gold ever.
GOLD PARTY, a group exhibition including Paige Adair, Olive Lynch, Nick Madden, MIchael Polomik, Steve Pomberg, Johnathan Welsh, and Ally White, runs through February 8 at Beep Beep Gallery. More details at the gallery.
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