Raleigh Gardiner: Opening Reception

17 July 2020

Raleigh Gardiner is a Boston-born artist, now residing in Hillsborough, NC. She earned her BFA and Studio Diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and her MFA from Washington University in Saint Louis. Gardiner’s creative practice involves a variety of media, including painting, collage, mask-making, sculpture, film and dioramas; however, she feels that all of her work, regardless of the medium, stems from the formal exercise of drawing.


"In general, my work revolves around a visual analysis of desire - it offers a visual representation of the fluctuating operations of lack and fulfilment that exist between our conceptions of “Self” and “Other”. I am particularly interested in the role of Otherness from a female perspective, as she exists within the context of heteronormative (Fruedian, Lacanian) societal structures: the female as both an Object of social desire, and reciprocally, as a Subject and owner of her own desire.

The body of work on exhibition represents a recent departure in terms of process; this cut-paper work begins from a formal place, and deals with visual issues as a primary means of creation. I am exploring the interactions of shape and color, as well as the contrast between the cut image and the textural mark. These works draw heavily from scientific charts, bisections of anatomy, early depictions of sea creatures (Ernst Haeckel), as well as visual themes in folk art, including European tapestries, craft, and Polish wycinanki.

But conceptually, this series on exhibit seeks to render visible the fluid transmissions and the chemical, emotional, and metaphysical transferrences that occur between beings/entities/roles in society. My work depicts both desires and traumas, connections and repressions, unities and divergences that are communicated through individuals and conventions of society. In this way, they are ultimately about sexuality, identity, and otherness."