02.06.2015 - 02.28.2015

Bonnie Staley and Catherine Fairbanks

"Cyborg imagery can suggest a way out of the maze of dualism in which we have explained our bodies and our tools to ourselves. This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful infidel heteroglossia. … It means both building and destroying machines, identities, categories, relationships, space stories. Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess." - Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto

Bonnie Staley's recent paintings playfully refigure the female body, possibly lending the cyborgian pin-up women super powers in their fictional world laden with disruptive humor and fantasy. Cathy Fairbanks' paper maché busts stand with an empathetic insistence of the figure as a mutable art object. Empathy is a state of recognition of the infinite difference of others, of ourselves, and it is the backbone of the cyborg. While Staley's women seem to aptly adjust to and even thrive within the environments of which they are both products and agents, Fairbank's cyborg is generally "sick"; ill but surviving. The cyborg allows us to think about the need to adjust to our environment. It is in some ways the form as it reflects the architecture of life and culture.


About the artists:

Bonnie graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Fashion Design and minored in Sculpture. She currently lives and works in Richmond, VA.

Catherine Fairbanks, whose work is often a recognition of ephemerality and transformation, has had solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2010 and since then has attended residencies at The National Textile Institute in Iceland, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Wassaic Project, and Loop Arts. Fairbanks maintains a dual pursuit as a nurse and in 2013 and 2014 respectively was a visiting educator at Otis College of Art and UCLA Medical Center on the topic, The Aesthetics of Empathy.