“The Stars Come Down,” a solo show of new artwork by Oakland artist Shannon Taylor at Alameda’s Redux Studios and Gallery is the culmination of Taylor’s artist residency at the St. Vincent de Paul Sorting Facility in East Oakland. For three months Taylor explored the Society’s vast facility of donated objects in search of objects that might be implemented creatively. Introduced to atypical arts material and strategies during the residency, artists are encouraged to expand their practice, and challenged to incorporate new ideas. “The Stars Come Down” even upon first view: the large, gilded tree silhouette upon which hangs the copious amount of artwork created during the residency, and a large Victorian settee covered in hand-painted fabric that is unequivocally the highlight of the show, Taylor’s work has definitely made an intriguing progression from her previous shows at Field Day and Resurrect Vintage.
At this exhibition Taylor’s work reveals how her magical, yet realist watercolors have expanded to include different approaches to the re-purposed frames, made from various found objects — from antique baking pans to vintage brassware– examining the fine line between decorative and fine art. The immersive installation is also demonstrative to the greater consideration paid to the environment in which the artwork might be placed. Major subject matter in her vibrant watercolors are gilded crocodiles, sparkly tigers, and star shined elephants playfully engaged with mystical feminine nymphs. They create a dynamic tension between a beastly ferocity and a whimsical connotation of fairy figures, and further, the natural real life as lived and the fantasy world found only in dreams or chronicled in fairytales.
Shannon Taylor, “The Stars Come Down” will be at Redux Studios and Gallery through October 4, 2015.