In her solo exhibition, LOCUS / Heart of Wonder, painter Laura Naples draws into focus the essential qualities of organic and geometric forms as a tool to express the unseen inner being that exists within us all. Through a process of layering thin veils of pigments over black-toned canvases, Naples creates shapes that emerge like ethereal shadows from velveteen darkness.
With each subsequent layer of paint, gradients of varying contrast develop, suggesting the form of petals or the hard-edged lip of a shell.
Within the aqueous expanse of abstraction, these familiar shapes ground Naples’ compositions in a contemplative space, engaging the viewer in the act of looking as objects gradually reveal themselves.
Author Eckhart Tolle suggests that seeing flowers can awaken humans “to see the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature.” These paintings externalize Naples’ own practice of self-reflection and record the imperfect elements of those experiences.
In my childhood, I visited natural history museums where I encountered displays of geodes, minerals, and gemstones showcased against soft black velvet. I still remember the sense of wonder created in that contrast, rendered now in the arrangement of painted shapes against a matte black backdrop. — Laura Naples
When encountering Naples’ work, the viewer is encouraged to find their own point of reference while participating in a collective practice of presence.
LOCUS / Heart of Wonder is on view November 18 - December 16 at Uprise Art.
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