How many exhibition works:
Sturgis Art Gallery is pleased to present Our Shadows, an online exhibition of Beth Carter’s award-winning charcoal drawings that mine the recesses of our minds.
It’s been said in more ways than one that darkness and light depend on each other. You can’t have one without the other. Yet Carter finds the space between. She coaxes figures from the shadows that perhaps aren’t ready for the light. Her animals are slightly human and her humans at least partially animal. They mix and mingle in the most natural way it’s hard to remember how unnatural it all is. Despite the mashup of fantasy and reality, or perhaps because of it, the emotional accuracy is jarring.
Her subjects are the wretched, heroic, and innocent versions of ourselves that we all harbor. The versions that are safer in the dark. We tend to them when nobody is looking. We seek solace with them in private. We condemn them to the shadows and convince ourselves they don’t need the light. They don't want the light. They don’t know the light.
But Carter reminds us—they do. She blurs the line between dark and light and returns us to this shadowland that is our own creation. She stirs us into recognizing ourselves in her curious characters. She urges us to accept them, not as the bastards we pretend they are but as our very own. It is impossible not to. With a grimace and a grin.