Soft Trap + Withershins



opening reception


Atlanta painter, Sarah Emerson, is inspired by the tragic romanticism of a decaying environment and civilization. Her paintings express a precarious balance between the innate splendor of nature, and the mysterious fear and violence that lurks beneath the surface as natural landscapes are encroached upon and exploited. Emerson’s newest body of work is a nostalgic projection of a “future Eden” filled with fear and awe. These paintings are uniquely haunting in their whimsy and playfulness, effectively blurring the line between fairy tale and horror story.

In addition to the paintings, a collection of drawings titled “The Final Girl” is on display. The collection emerges from a concept explored by author Carol Clover on the last surviving girl in horror films. The drawings are intimately connected to the paintings as Emerson’s paintings place the viewer in the position of “the final girl”, or last survivor. She paints strange, yet familiar scenes, using common images (such as deer, beehives, fruit, locusts, bubbles, and bullet holes) to evoke a landscape of intuitive impressions. Ultimately, Emerson presents a new environment that we are left to contemplate in our own human solitude.

Work by artist, Jeff Grant will also be integrated into the exhibition. Similar to Emerson, Grant explores themes of urban encroachment into our natural environment. He works in a variety of media (drawings in ink, wood and yarn sculptures, lighting installations), to create classic forms that resonate with the viewer. Together, Emerson and Grant’s exhibition, titled Soft Trap, encourage imaginative exploration into their work by creating a landscape of memory and ambiguous symbolism.

Sarah Emerson holds a BFA from Atlanta College of Art, while Jeff Grant holds a BFA from The Rhode Island School of Design. Both artists received their MFA from Goldsmiths College in London, England. Their exhibition will be displayed in the main Whitespace gallery.

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