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Sozo Gallery Presents: HERitage

Sozo Gallery Presents:


a selection of works by Claire Desjardins, Miles Purvis, and Jill Ricci

Works on display April 7- May 11

Opening night:
Thursday, April 27
Uptown Crawl
214 N Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC

                   Jill Ricci                                  Claire Desjardins                          Miles Purvis

                   Jill Ricci                                 Claire Desjardins                        Miles Purvis

Heritage is all that we have inherited- everything from our past, our family, and our culture, which has passed down from those who were here before us. This inheritance is not simply an object or heirloom, it is also the traditions and customs that we hold dear, practice, and preserve. Heritage is part nostalgia, part lessons, part experiences, part stories, and part identity. HERitage is a collection of works in which three female artists, Claire Desjardins, Jill Ricci, and Miles Purvis, have preserved, presented, and restored the concept of heritage. Desjardins presents a body of work of which she was inspired by the lessons of her mother on the power and grace of womanhood. Purvis presents a body of work in which she not only reflects upon, but honors and satirizes, her experiences with Southern tradition. Ricci presents a body of work in which she has reflected more broadly on the concept of a collected heritage of which we all share; through her multitude of layers, Ricci's work urges the viewer to look upon the past with endearment and appreciation in order to garner wisdom.

Claire Desjardins, artist, Gore, Quebec, Canada:
My mother taught me how to be an artist, and how to think differently. Mostly, she taught me how to be free and how to remain true to my heart. I could do anything I set my mind to, she said. And as I aged, as my world morphed and I became more independent, I realized the importance her words; I also realized how important it is not to remain silent when I bear witness to injustices around me. It’s my duty as a daughter, a wife, a stepmother, a woman, to speak out for what’s right. I hope to pass along whatever joy I can, and to share in my inspiration, my nourishment. My mother's grace is with me, as I breathe in deeply, gathering stock of my surroundings.

Miles Purvis, artist, Columbia, South Carolina: 
Growing up and living in the south has always had a strong influence in my life and work. I pulled inspiration from the expectations and realities of being a southern lady while still holding the theme of organized chaos. Their attitudes and style are formed from detailed shapes of various textiles and painted papers. Each piece is based upon a selection of southern ladies that have made a lasting impression on me. This body of work holds the closest to my heart as it is a pure reflection of the life I live and love. 

Jill Ricci, artist & owner of Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, New Jersey:
One of the most arresting visuals for me is an old wall layered with papers, graffiti and text - our modern hieroglyphics. I try to re-create this beauty in my work, the layers of time and decay are what interest me. I hope that the person viewing my work will linger, trying to discover hidden imagery and text and depending on their life experience, find their own meaning or interpretation. Found images and objects function as signifiers of both individual and collective experience. By incorporating materials that are linked to the realities of daily life, I strive to establish an immediate identification between the viewer and the work of art. I am exploring the place between “high art” and popular culture, text and image, figuration and abstraction, past and present, and two and three-dimensional space. I begin working without a final vision in mind: I use collected materials and allow pattern, texture, color and structure to emerge organically. In this new body of work, I want the pieces to evoke the walls of Morocco, a Renaissance Church, a NYC subway wall and of a hint Malibu Barbie all simultaneously existing on one canvas.

With contemporary graphics layered under the patina of paint, these pieces almost feel like we are peeling back the scales from the antiquated to find that what is hidden beneath is not obsolete, but avant-garde. But perhaps, joy doesn’t come from the newest thing, but looking back with fondness and learning from what has come before.” Lesley Frenz, Art Critic, 2012