LOUISE SHELDON
RIPPLES
June 14, 2024 - July 14, 2024
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LOUISE SHELDON: RIPPLES
JUNE 14 - JULY 14 2024

Agitation produces change: the drop of a stone in a pond, the first mark on paper. Tight ripples expand outward. But sometimes a disturbance in a clean, clear surface can be disruptive: the rings grow larger, looser, reaching out to touch.

Rhode Island native Louise Sheldon often draws from memories of visions and sights that have left a profound mark on her. While working as a florist, Sheldon spent her mornings peering down into buckets of flowers in Manhattan's flower district, an image and perspective she constantly returned to. What started as quick watercolors and exercises in automatic drawing soon revealed itself to be something deeper: a disturbance creates a pattern. The process becomes a meditative act and imagery takes form through the act of making: Sheldon found that the Ripples possessed infinite depth. The “Ripple” family, born of these original experimental paintings, offered itself up as an eternal image. A hieroglyph of the end of feeling and the end to endlessness.

After a period of pain, grief, and birth, Sheldon found comfort in textiles, quilts, vintage clothing items and mementos gifted and accumulated from friends and family. The elaborate patterns and rich palette–reminiscent of the aesthetics and Flower Power movements of the 60's–jolted memories of loved ones from another time. With this bright palette in mind, Sheldon began to play with different combinations finding that each resulting work was imbued with a distinct personality and verve. Names gradually affixed themselves: Charlotte, Terrence, Peter, as if Beatrix Potter's enchanting storybook creatures fell into an Alice in Wonderland dimension and wound up in a dizzying Japanese anime at peak cherry blossom season. In reality, we are experiencing a direct line to Sheldon's point-of-view, into the past and even beyond: a portal into the afterlife, showering people in flowers as they enter.

Beatrix, a smaller work that was adapted into the large-scale mural, represents a new, hyper visceral kind of Ripple: the mother, the final boss. The daisies are larger than your head, the life-sized vortex large enough to suck you in. Sheldon likes to play with the idea of adornment, whether it's by arranging flowers or hanging a space with floor mats. What happens when you pin something meant for the floor on a wall? The bird's eye image of the flower bucket returns though the vantage point has shifted, forcing it to eye-level. The paintings want you to stare them in the eye, too.

Surrounding these symbols of both growth and loss, the works represent a concerted effort to get closer: to the past, and to the well within ourselves. After all, each Ripple issues from a tiny ring at the center: a navel. They depict a real place in time, the experience of being dropped into a moment–good or bad–as it proliferates, ripples into something new.

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Silver Ripples, 2024
Watercolor on linen wrapped panel
10 x 8 inches

Peter Ripples, 2024
Watercolor on linen on panel
20 x 16 inches

Terrence Ripples, 2024
Watercolor on linen on panel
14 x 11 inches

Arnold Ripples, 2024
Watercolor on linen wrapped panel
14 x 11 inches

Harold Ripples, 2024
Watercolor on panel
26 x 24.25 Inches

Harold Ripples, 2024
Watercolor on panel
26 x 24.25 inches

Charlotte Ripples, 2024
Watercolor on panel
20 x 16 inches

Ribby Ripples, 2024
Watercolor on linen wrapped panel
10 x 8 inches

Tom Ripples, 2024
Watercolor on panel
10 x 8 inches

Ripple V, 2023
House paint on canvas with brass grommets
112 1/2 x 67 x 1/2 inches

Ripple IV, 2023
House paint on canvas with brass grommets
112 x 1/2 x 67 1/2 inches

Ripple III, 2023
House paint on canvas with brass grommets
112 x 1/2 x 67 1/2 inches