New Histories

New Histories: Cut Paper Dioramas by past Visiting Artist Jen Swearington. 

October 22 – December 5, 2021

In March 2020, I relocated to Charleston from the Blue Ridge Mountains to start a new life chapter, bringing my sense of wonder and discovery to this area, with its rich, complicated history and fascinating low country landscape. Exploration leads to inspiration, so I wander and draw from direct observation; downtown I sketch wrought iron gates, 300-year old tombstones, colonial portraits of generals, and Civil War era daguerreotypes. Living near Folly Beach, I am fascinated by the ever-changing tidal marshlands and ethereal Morris Island Lighthouse always present on the distant horizon during my morning run. I arrange this collected imagery into evocative, though-provoking new compositions by layering ink illustrations with intricate papercut patterns. This series began in 2018 with collapsible carousel books, named for their ability to configure in the round, and it has recently evolved into sculptures set into castaway suitcases and mirrors, each with its own mystery in the patina. I continue to explore and create new histories in this magical world. - Jen Swearington

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