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Lumen Essence - New Work by Allison Paschke & Alyn Carlson

Allison Paschke uses light-reactive materials such as mirrors, resin, and porcelain to create complex layers of translucency, reflections and shadows. While each piece’s rich material qualities are palpable, the transience of light is equally important. The experience changes constantly depending on the time of day, the reflections inside the room, and the position of the viewer.

Other aspects of Paschke’s work also imply the ephemeral. Delicate, fragile materials such as tiny porcelain elements create a feeling of vulnerability. Amber resin and insect pins are both associated with the preservation of organisms. Paschke states: “All of life on Earth is dependent on sunlight. As each day and night pass I feel myself moving through time and know that each moment is precious. Through my work I seek, paradoxically, to capture and immortalize what is transient.

Alyn Carlson grew up on the coast of rural New England. The quality of the light changed when she moved, at 19, to the Bay Area in California.  Says Carlson, “The light on the Pacific was weightless and soft. That palette, with its delicate luminescent quality, still fascinates me. It represents how I feel about landscape, whether it is in Southcoast Massachusetts, Midcoast Maine, Prince Edward Island, or Iceland. Those are the landscapes I look at and paint, again and again.”

Light is also what she actively waits for while painting. While layering and scraping - with color against color, constantly adjusting - she creates a scenery where she “waits for light to evolve and arrive.” Carlson states: “Every sunrise I am instinctively pulled out of bed, to stand in front of the two huge factory windows in my apartment. I stand there to watch the light arrive on the Acushnet River. With the exception of rain or fog, the entrance of the sun catches me a little off guard every time. I wait for it. I hear it enter. I am present in it, at the early part of the day.” For Carlson, color equals emotion. The capturing of light as it moves through color, while shifting and pulling it in and out of her composition, is what makes her paint.

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