Amos and Scurlock also carry with them myths, personal memories and cultural baggage. The difference between them is in their focal points. Amos, an Australian currently working in Vermont, scours for subjects in a topographical fashion; she seems to be watching her feet as she treads. Scurlock, a Richmonder, looks towards the horizon.
Amos is a trekker looking for organisms, anthropological finds, the symbols her boots kick up from under the dirt. Suggestions of primitive maps, gestural and painterly washes and marks, and carefully executed lines and patterns combine to conjure images of ancient places. Whether conjured up in the Outback, New Guinea or her own imagination, Amos’ pithy landscapes will no doubt trigger the viewer’s own sensory memories of walking on or off a path.
For the past two years, Mary Scurlock has pursued an interest in the inner and outer landscapes of Samuel Beckett. Traveling to Ireland and France to experience the environments in which the writer lived and worked, she has collected memories of particular places and colored them with her own perceptions. Scurlock manages to take control of the images that stream into her consciousness by literally separating them into smaller compartments organized on sheets of large paper. Rhythmical patterns and the dexterity of the artist’s loose drawing and painting style are two technical devices that compel the viewer to have faith and travel along.
With no apologies, Sarah Amos and Mary Scurlock seamlessly stitch fact and fiction, as if that slippery border between mental and physical reality didn’t exist.S
Sarah Amos’ “Walking Marriage” and Mary Scurlock’s “Show” are on display at 1708 Gallery, 319 W. Broad St., through Nov. 29. 643-1708.
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