The Union Gallery presents RANEY TOWN, a dynamic fictional dominion seeded by the imagination of Rebeca Raney. Anchored by a mountain-like sculpture that incorporates Raney’s own studio desk, the installation aspires to break down many of the barriers that a gallery space can present by placing the artist at its center. Every Friday for the duration of the exhibit, Raney will be in the gallery creating 1000 drawings that will populate her world.
Beginning as a grid of blank papers in three sizes, the drawings will be executed in batches, allowing guests to witness the repetition and variation that laces the drawings into the landscape of Raney’s mind. Her imagery appears steeped in girlish fantasy, but the uncanny comprehensiveness of her vision invites the peculiar and humorous as well. At bottom the drawings are utterly sincere. Raney will draw inspiration from the personal affects, older work, photography, books, and embroidery that she brings with her to the space, emphasizing her role as an artist in residence.
By creating the work publicly, Raney invites a dialogue between herself as artist and the community, taking inspiration from conversations and suggestions and explaining the connections in her work. Such emphasis on accessibility strengthens the link between artist and artwork, but also combats the isolation of the artistic process, both literally (through direct contact with people) and figuratively (by attempting to communicate all of her thoughts in the best way she knows how). Raney Town is not a meditation on the artist as object, but a reinforcement of Raney’s work as the fundamental part of her identity.
Raney’s task of creating 1000 drawings is rigorous, requiring discipline and spirit. The element of speed, however, will only ensure the automatic nature of the drawings, direct from Raney’s subconscious. Her enthusiasm and aptitude for visual communication will match her ambition.
In addition, the website www.raneytown.com will document all progress.
On Friday, June 4, all are invited back for a closing reception and performance featuring Rebeca Raney and Ithai Benjamin. In their collaboration, Raney provides the lyrics and vocals for Benjamin's musical arrangements, resulting in original and humorous songs.