Radial Arts Center
5603 NW Radial Hwy Omaha, NE 68104
Please join us April 1st, 6-9:00 pm during Benson First Friday for the opening reception of Patricia Davis’ solo exhibition “Comfortably Uncomfortable” presented by the Radial Arts Center.
We aren’t born with an omniscient awareness of our being. We feel sensations and experience emotions, but don’t always know why. Until I take my last breath, I will be discovering myself and the world around me. I will strive to understand how my mind works and attempt to balance controlling my emotions and satisfying my thirst for knowledge through spiritual and corporeal happenings. I know the only way to keep evolving is to search. To question. To face conflict. To let go… To be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
In this show, I present works on paper that allude to the human condition by exploring those acts of self-evolution. I gravitate to structures like grids, webs, spirals, and mazes that speak to the fact that life is not a linear path. Biomorphic shapes are bending, looping, stretching, swelling, floating away, separating, oozing, joining, and colonizing or isolated. I use words and phrases from conversations, songs, books, movies and shows, social media content, advertising, and my own writing. They become titles, visual or conceptual prompts, and/or imagery within the work that hint at meaning and/or serve as a distraction. As such, the pictorial space is rife with notions of openings and exits, possibilities, choices, release, pockets, growing pressure, chaos, confusion, internal dialogue, confessions, echoes, shadows, reflections, partners, and patterns.
Artist Statement //
At the core of my artistic practice is a curiosity for the concept of containment. To be contained implies that something is present, held, tidy, supported, bound, stifled, restrained, and controlled. The duality of meaning behind the idea generates an exciting place of conflict and ambiguity. The container is an instinctive metaphor that represents us as corporeal and mental spaces that have exterior and interior boundaries. These boundaries contain thoughts and feelings that can be projected from or interjected into. I draw inspiration from this liminality and explore the spaces and boundaries between what we know and what we fear about ourselves: the unknown, the uncomfortable.
I confront my vulnerability by exploring a variety of media (including drawing, painting, printmaking, papermaking, and installation), but drawing is at the heart of what I do. I enjoy playing on paper more than any other surface—the density of very thick cotton rag handmade papers; deckles; the ability to emboss, scrape, cut, tear, bend, and mould; the way liquids permeate the fibers or pool on the surface; and its ability to hold layer after layer of aqueous and dry materials—all very satisfying.
The materiality of paper speaks to the bodily metaphor. I allow the act of creating to be a meditative state where I transfer curiosity to the surface of paper. Immediately, the blank paper is a site of the unknown and always in a state of ambiguity until I feel I’ve reached a resolution. It is a space of physical and psychological tension activated by transference, struggle, construction, and dissolution.
I follow my intuition and imagination to establish scale, select colors and paper, and develop imagery. Abstraction lies at the core of my work, where text and imagery often conflate— evoking physical and metaphoric spaces that are both intimate and expansive for emotional responses. I enjoy playing with text because it is a complex system of communication. Each letter is a mark and a shape. However, the addition of inherent meaning adds another level of depth. Together, the word and image imbue the pictorial space with notions of openings and exits, possibilities, choices, release, pockets, growing pressure, chaos, confusion, internal dialogue, confessions, echoes, shadows, reflections, partners, and patterns.
Artist Biography //
Originally from coastal Alabama, Patricia Davis is a visual artist, curator, and educator currently based in Lincoln, Nebraska. Davis began her career in the arts at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and earned a BFA in printmaking and sculpture (2010). During her time at U of A, she studied abroad at Santa Reparata International School of Art and became a first-generation Ronald E. McNair Scholar and a Windgate Fellow. In 2013, she moved to Nebraska to complete an MFA in studio art from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2016).
She has taught beginning drawing and gallery management courses and was the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery Director and faculty advisor to the MEDICI Student Gallery at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Davis has exhibited work nationally and internationally and was an artist in residence at Cedar Point Biological Station in Ogallala, Ne. In addition to her life in the arts, she enjoys traveling, cycling, hiking, conducting kitchen experiments, and the thrill of keeping house plants alive during Nebraska winters.