TOTEMS AND VESSELS

Bergeron + McLeod, May 2022


May 6, 5 - 8pm


Artist(s):

Mia Bergeron

John McLeod

About the Exhibit

As two professional artists who are married, this process of distilling our ideas  presents a unique opportunity to know and support each other…

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Artist couple Mia Bergeron and John McLeod were married 5 years ago and had their first showing of work together on the eve of their wedding. Now, to celebrate their nuptials and their combined love of art, the couple has been painting side by side to create a new body of work titled, “Totems and Vessels.”
 
Here’s a quick Q&A with the artists about the paintings.
 
Why the show title?
 
Totems and Vessels

Myths, totems and iconic imagery have been and continue to be a way that we sort through and identify our experiences.  This happens for us on an individual level as well as collective communal belief structures.  Vessels are also metaphors for a place to put our hopes and love as well as a place of safety and rest.  This work creates glimpses and doors for the viewer to find their own totems, myths and sanctuary.

Why this show now?
 
This exhibition is to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. 5 years ago this May, we had a duo exhibition at the gallery and our wedding was one week later.   We love having the opportunity to create a new body of work together to honor and celebrate our relationship, and to mark the time spent together through our art. 

What is new about life and the work?
 
Over the past few years, the importance of communication was especially brought to the surface of our lives, and inevitably made its way into our work. How we communicate to each other, how our work communicates ideas to us, and how we communicate our experiences to the viewer have been inspiring and gratifying ideas for us.  As two professional artists who are married, this process of distilling our ideas  presents a unique opportunity to know and support each other on a daily basis. 

What have you discovered painting together?

Mia and I actually met through our art; seeing each other’s before ever meeting in person or knowing anything about the other.  At the time Mia was doing classical Italian style portraiture and I was doing abstract sculpture.  Even though our methods couldn’t have been more different, we where both completely drawn to the others work without any other context.  Through our relationship, in all of its forms of love, friendship and art, we have found deep common ground in our mutual search for growth, compassion, understanding and introspection. These elements have been apparent in our creative expression throughout all the paths we have taken. They are the root and the spark that drew us together through our work. 

 
 
Any magic moments in this show – a painting that stands out?

(We decided to write about each other’s works)

Mia’s “Afterlife” and “Faith in the Muse” both hit me like a lightning strike.  Both have such personal context for her that I am deeply moved by, but she portrayed those experiences in a way that anyone can see their own unique context in.  She has created imagery so strikingly personal, and yet so open and empathetic that there is almost a painful beauty to them. -John

All of John’s works have a surprising element to them, some detail or concept that you have to pay attention to see, but that give each painting a profound complexity and thoughtfulness .  This is very similar to how John is as a person. In “Spine”, John takes two seemingly different, objects- a woman and an inverted bull spine, and finds a way to make each association be both paradoxical and supportive of the other. The bull spine becomes elegant, turning into  curves and gestures. The woman becomes mysterious, mythical. It is these surprising visual narratives that make John’s work so intriguing to me. It is the same in “Dragonfly Rider”. The restructuring of scale in this piece changes any ideas you thought you understood about the narrative. Although normally the woman would probably be riding a horse or some larger animal, the injection of a smaller insect portrays the vulnerability of this strong icon. It is these small and subtle twists that are the poetry I find in John’s work. -Mia

Exhibit Images


Opening Night

ROBERT LANGE STUDIOS

TWO QUEEN ST, CHARLESTON

Robert Lange Studios