A fascination with materials, myth, and metaphor lie at the heart of Raine Bedsole’s profoundly lyrical sculptures and mixed-media drawings. For her current exhibition at Callan Contemporary, she debuts a new body of work weaving together symbolic narratives based on the timeless elements of sea, sky, earth, home and the grand voyage of human life. Bedsole’s work has always been about balance: integrating seemingly contradictory qualities into a unified, cohesive whole. While her sculptures possess the elegant linear quality of drawing, her densely layered drawings have the luxuriant texture of sculpture. Her boat forms, while suggesting solidity and volume, often appear to float upon the air. And while the found papers, maps, and fabrics she deploys in many pieces evoke ephemerality, her cast-bronze and welded-steel sculptures speak of permanence, endurance, and the eternal. In her work, these polarities come together seamlessly in engaging, dialectical conversations between the seen and the inferred, the concrete and the ethereal.
A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Bedsole is a recipient of the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation public-art grant. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, South Carolina Museum of Art and site-specific installation, You Are The River, is on view until March 13th, 2017 at the Mobile Museum of Art. Bedsole’s longtime interest in all things aqueous—bodies of water, vessels, maritime history and the concept of fluidity itself—harken back to her early years growing up on the gulf coast. Today, in her studio overlooking the Mississippi River in New Orleans, she creates artworks that reference rain, waves and the calm that resides in the center of the storm.
In addition to works on paper, constructed steel pieces, and a new series of distinctively patinaed cast bronze sculptures, Bedsole’s exhibition at Callan Contemporary will feature a suite of intimately scaled, shrine-like sculptures which reference the protection and sanctuary we find in our physical and spiritual homes. Across a diverse array of media, Bedsole portrays physical objects in ways that suggest the metaphysical properties they embody. She views her materials and process as indistinguishable from the interpretive meaning of each piece. “It’s through the making,” she reflects, “that the essence is revealed.”