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The Stone Tower Gallery presents When Our Edges Grow Soft, an exhibition of ink portraits by local artist Irene Pantelis. Meticulously crafted by balancing the natural movement of ink and water with her rhythmic mark making, the drawings and video on view speak of the often fluid and murky nature of memory and identity, while reimagining historical archetypes.
Pantelis explains her work this way: “‘Our bodies had limits, perimeters, Edges marking the end of us and the beginning of not us…,’ writes José Antonio Rodríguez in his poem In the Presence of Sunlight. Thinking about these ‘edges’ of ours, I set out to draw portraits, initially of myself, and then of others whose photographs caught my attention on the internet. I began each drawing by placing on the paper a puddle of the most basic of elements, which comprises most of our bodies, and which we share with the rest of nature—water. Mindful of the water puddles’ physical edges—their borders and surface tension—I drew mostly with inks. As the water’s expressive power transformed my rhythmic mark making, I felt as if I was watching a story unfold on the paper, a narrative about the fluid and murky nature of identity and memory, freshly extracting from my present-day subjects older, maybe even ancient, archetypes of sorts, echoing back to me the last line in Rodríguez’ poem—‘I’ve written about this so many times.’”
Opening reception: Friday, July 2, 6pm to 8pm