The Janet and Billy Show: Janet Harrison and Billy Huggins
Opening Reception: Friday, October 13, 2017, 6-9pm
On View Through November 10th, 2017
Billy Huggins chose a 1966 quote from Bruce Nauman to describe his work,
“The true artist is an amazing luminous fountain.”
Billy started volunteering at Starlight in April of 2016. He mentioned that as soon as he was introduced to Janet’s artwork, he knew he wanted the opportunity for their work to be exhibited together.
According to Janet Harrison,
“When I was in school, I was told I had a learning disability, and when I was doing my school work it was very hard for me to understand what the teacher was trying to tell me. So when I started to learn cursive I would look at the letters and saw the way they were shaped and how cool they looked. My teacher told me I was the best artist in the class and that made me feel good about myself. I love Starlight because it is a good place for art and it opens a lot of doors in life.”
About the work:
Though the characters and components of Billy Huggins' drawings are often placid, nonplussed, seemingly regular, the manner with which they are rendered is comprehensively weird: uniformly bold lines outlining faces, plants, cars and the like, all a bit disfigured and off, scale relationships skewed, alternating between masses of black, white, and red. They are disarmingly weird works that only get weirder the more you try to piece them together.
Janet Harrison works in dense and variable patterns, selectively rendered in color and gray scale, often with blocks of negative space preserving some calm around the patterns' activity. Embedded in this are images, references, phrases, all rendered so much in the visual language of the patterns that they are hardly legible at first. At times, the whole of a pattern will make an image (a dragon, in one instance). Other times, more direct images are incorporated (a pair of people, a calm face, a brief landscape). The themes are often positive: optimistic affirmations of self, references to goals or ambitions, or simply recitations of some of the worldly things Harrison appreciates. There are a few exceptions to the densely patterned work (notably, some straight forward portraits), but the busyness and care are consistent throughout.
Curator, Starlight Studio & Art Gallery