MAYSEY CRADDOCK: ONCE A RIVER, ONCE A SEA
David Lusk Gallery Memphis / 97 Tillman St. November 18, 2022 - December 23, 2022
Maysey Craddock closes out the year at David Lusk Gallery Memphis with once a river, once a sea. Recognized widely for her gouache paintings on stitched paper of ephemeral landscapes, Craddock examines growth and decay along the Gulf Coast in relation to space and time.
Beginning with photographic study, Craddock documents the in-between spaces and transient moments in nature, specifically the Alabama coastlines’ active ruin and reinvention. Though conceptually concerned with humankind’s destruction of the shore, Craddock’s formal interest lies in abstraction. She breaks down her photographs to their integral lines and color, paying special attention to the empty spaces. After parsing out the unnecessary elements, she uses gouache to layer intricate branches, reeds, grasses, and leaves onto sewn-together paper bags, creating visual explorations of these evolving, ever-changing places.
Of these places – estuary marshlands and wetlands - Craddock says, “I’m drawn to the narrative linear drama in the vegetation with the drippy, lyrical Spanish moss and the geometric abstraction of palmetto.” She’s still interested in the idea of where water meets land, the ambiguous in-between, and the ever-evolving habitats.
With conversations and evidence of climate change top of mind - especially given Hurricane Ida’s destruction of Florida and South Carolina coastlines and landscape, not to mention thousands of homes - Craddock’s conceptual works remind us of the shore’s beauty, as well as its fragile existence and ultimate disappearance. Marshlands and wetlands are the most effective defenses against storms - which are fast becoming more common. These crucial ecosystems have been lost to development, industry, agricultural runoff, and pollution.
Her seam that crisscross the compositions serve as both functional and formal elements: silk holding the piece together doubles as representation of the geological processes that man has a hand in controlling. In Rise, fall away, Craddock left the bottom half of the piece unpainted to show a sketch of her intentions. It references her concerns of vanishing habitats and diminishing wildernesses, eerily mimicking a developer’s blueprint. “It’s interesting to find/discover/see ways that the materiality and process of the works expand upon the ideas behind them. I like it when that happens,” Craddock says.
Maysey Craddock was born in 1971 in Memphis, where she currently lives - aside from long stretches of time spent at a family home on the Alabama coast. She received an MFA from Maine College of Art, Portland, ME, and a BA in Sculpture and Anthropology from Tulane University in New Orleans. Throughout her three-decade career, Craddock has participated in numerous solo exhibitions across the United States and Europe, and has been the recipient of several fellowship awards. Beyond David Lusk Gallery, Craddock is represented in Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles.
David Lusk Gallery is located at 97 Tillman St in Memphis. Gallery hours are Tu - Sa 10-5. For more information or visuals please contact Lees Romano at 615.780.9990 or email@example.com.