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Claudia Flynn: Wishes (detail) – wishbones, gold leaf and measuring stick, 2008

Claudia Flynn

Community College of Rhode Island’s Knight Campus Art Gallery

Opening reception: Tuesday, November 3rd, 4 to 6 p.m. at the Art Gallery (Room 3500, 3rd floor, Round Building)
Exhibition dates: November 4 – 28, 2009

NEW: Images from the opening

Wakefield artist Claudia Flynn will exhibit “Mythos + Pathos” at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Knight Campus Art Gallery from Nov 4. to 28. An opening reception, featuring a projection of short experimental films by Maya Deren (1917–1961), will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Flynn often works with ordinary objects and materials, transforming their use and meaning into a broader context, providing a linkage to our ancestral past and giving us a mirror to consider the fragility of our humanness. “I recycle objects, ideas and metaphors,” she said.

In “Mythos + Pathos,” she presents the rich diversity of both her material and subject matter as she displays a unique artistic sensibility. Portrait paintings made from nail polish hang on the walls of the gallery while an array of mixed-media objects are prominently placed. The objects of her sculptures range from tree branches, vintage keys and gold leaf-encrusted wishbones to bronze castings. One of the largest works is an slate chalkboard resting on a wooden easel, where she obsessively has written her own name as mantra.

For Flynn, “making art comes from a primal need for creative expression in a modern world, the integration of self in a fractured society and a need for a resurgence of storytelling among our contemporaries.” Her stories come from an internal mythical realm, connected to what may be intrinsically feminine, that offers an archetypal resonance within a larger universal realm – one with feelings, compassion, struggle, sorrow and sympathy.

Both Flynn and Deren, whose films will be projected during the opening, share an appreciation for mythical time as well as for the role of women in being able to both reveal and transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. One of America’s most influential experimental filmmakers of the 1940s and ’50s, Deren wrote, directed, edited and performed in many of her films. She was a poet, dancer, choreographer, photographer and, through a Guggenheim grant, studied and filmed voodoo ritual in Haiti.

Flynn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, South America, Southeast Asia and North Africa, combining her artistic pursuits with environmental and social concerns. In 2002, Kashi Art Gallery in Kochi, India, invited her to create a site-specific installation for an international environmental art exhibition, and she completed a collection of poems reflecting on her experiential four months living and exploring India. She has been the recipient of several grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and most recently received the Innovators’ Program Award for Original Art in a Publication from the John Hopkins University Press.

The gallery is located in Room 3500, on the third floor of the round building at the Warwick campus, 400 East Ave.
Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
For more information, e-mail gallery director Viera Levitt at knightgallery@ccri.edu.

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