Artists' Attic Presents: "Cross Pollination" by Lora Gill
Lora Gill is an artist and librarian who lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She was born at Ft. Knox and was raised in Germany and Radcliff, Kentucky. She interrupted her studies at the University of Kentucky to join the Army and then returned to Kentucky to get her master’s degree in Library and Information Science. During her time as a grad student, she worked in the Special Collections Department of UK’s library, where she was exposed to some of the original plates of Audubon’s Birds of America. From here a deeper appreciation of the avian world combined with her desire to explore the nature of human femininity led her to create her Featherbrain series.
Lora is a self-taught artist who has been creating works for the past twenty years. She has been a part of two of Lexington’s public art projects, the Dynamic Doors and the Book Benches. Her bench is currently on display in front of the University Press of Kentucky. She has shown her artwork in various venues and is continuing to grow and expand her Featherbrain series. She works primarily with acrylics, but also enjoys illustration and mixed media.
Being a librarian and an artist allows Lora the joy of indulging her creative mind in multiple settings. She hopes her artwork can convey the interwoven beautiful simplicity and deep complexity of femininity while emphasizing a hopeful vision of life as represented by the avian friends that embrace her canvas.
Our most elemental connection to the concept of beauty is found in the natural world. It’s a nearly visceral connection; one I believe finds its highest form in the feminine. The feminine is the object of desire, and by its very essence, desire can stray into domination or control. In doing so, it threatens to damage the very thing by which it is so captivated. This is a story, at least in human terms, as old as humanity itself.
The ability to appreciate beauty, particularly the beauty of a creature, and yet allow it the freedom to grow or change in ways that might seem heartbreaking or even tragic is perhaps one of the most difficult disciplines for us to cultivate.
We often tend to associate beauty with innocence, and as innocence is invariably shed, it can seem that we are also observing a corresponding degradation of inherent beauty. This does not have to be the case. Beauty can just as well come from growth, from trial, from wisdom and the necessary strength to persevere. Beauty if not found in stagnation, but in survival, in how we align ourselves with our ever changing world.
I want the viewer of my art to ask themselves what is the dominate part of each painting - is it the avian, the feminine, or the botanical. And then, I want them to consider the possibility that all of these elements are indispensable, each displaying a different, yet integrated facet of beauty and strength.