Exhibition | Vaughn Sills: Inside Outside | at Kingston gallery | boston | Art Week

Vaughn Sills: Inside Outside

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Wednesday, 5 February 2020 to Sunday, 1 March 2020
Friday, 7 February 2020 -
5:00pm to 8:00pm

I created the first of these still-life images when I was drawn to photograph a small bouquet of purple anemones and it occurred to me to place them before one of my landscape photographs from Prince Edward Island, my ancestral home. It was mid-winter, such beauty was much coveted; and I succumbed to buying more flowers and culled through my photographs looking for possible "backgrounds." I soon found I had created a set of parameters for these quietly surreal photographs

My process now includes making new land and seascapes, also on PEI; and once back in my studio, for each bundle of flowers, I find the right background image, choose a vase, and obsessively arrange the flowers until the scene comes together. An equally important element is natural light, which I have the least control over, and often shifts as I am photographing. It comes from two windows and a skylight and sometimes, happily, creates reflections on the glass and shadows that could not exist against a real sky.

The fundamental concept of this work, expressed in the title "Inside Outside" is a juxtaposition of the highly cultivated versus wild, untamed natural world. Domestic life is represented by garden-grown flowers in vases and alludes to women's work in gardens and in the home; while the outside world is seen in the images of seas and land.

A second layer has to do with mortality and beauty. The landscapes and seascapes I make are part of my series about grieving for my mother – they are expressions of sadness, love, memory, and connection. Flowers, so short-lived, their beauty so ephemeral, remind us of death and contrast with the feeling of eternity and infinitude implied by the sea and rolling hills. As it happens, my mother was an unusually beautiful woman; the metaphor is obvious.

The planet's emergency today inevitably adds a third layer of meaning. The seas are rising; the shores will be submerged – all by our hand. The farmer's field I lovingly photograph pollutes the local streams and ponds; a good number of the glorious flowers that I purchase are delivered to the flower market by trucks and probably airplanes that contribute to climate change. We can no longer assume that the natural world we have known is eternal.


Venue ( Name ):

Venue ( Address ): 

450 HArrison ave, 43, Boston, MA 02118, USA

Other shows from Kingston gallery

Jamal Thorne: Fragments and Lost Verses
06/24/2020 to 07/26/2020
Rose Olson: Rain and Sunshine
06/24/2020 to 07/26/2020
Our Universal Language-Virtual Event
04/30/2020 to 05/29/2020
A New Poignancy
04/03/2020 to 04/18/2020



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