dnj Gallery is pleased to present its upcoming exhibition, “Beneath the Surface,” featuring photographs by San Diego-based artist Suda House. The exhibition will be on display from September 8 through October 27, 2012, and will occupy both the main gallery and Gallery II of dnj Gallery’s space at Bergamot Station.
At various significant points in her life and career, House has focused on pulling back nature’s physical boundaries to explore the strength and power of women. “Beneath the Surface” highlights three separate projects, “Aqueous Myths,” “Aquarella” and “Under the Skin of Grace,” all devoted to the theme of female empowerment. The majority of the pieces in the exhibition from the “Aqueous Myths” and “Aquarella” projects are vintage Cibachromes, which will also be available as contemporary, archival, digital prints.
House created “Aqueous Myths” during the 1980’s, when she first moved to San Diego and began observing the rich marine life that was beneath the choppy waves of her ocean swims. This series portrays fantastical scenes of underwater creatures, all of which were shot in a tank in her studio. Inspired by the high-powered career woman of the 1980’s and the female athletes in the 1984 Olympics, House matched the pieces to water-themed Greek myths. In the process, the figures assumed the status of goddesses.
In “Aquarella,” House turned to a more natural view of her subjects at a period when the idea of motherhood loomed large in her life. This time shot through the observation window of a diving pool, House captures the mini-dramas that occur beneath the water. The safety of being surrounded by liquid, the struggle, the release and the eventual rise to the surface are seen as allegories for maternity.
Finally, in “Under the Skin of Grace,” House imagines a fictional archaeological world in which she looks beneath the earth to find relics depicting the archetypal woman. Influenced by Bryan Sykes’ 2001 book, “The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry,” House uses plaster casts discarded by a local sculpture class to suggest artifacts that loosely illustrate Sykes’ thesis that a large portion of the population can be traced back genetically through their maternal lineage (or as House views it, beneath the surface of patriarchal surnames and genealogies) to one of only seven different women. House created these photographs during the course of her own struggles as a mother and daughter and views them as symbols of the immutable lineage, common instincts and strength of women throughout time.
Suda House is Professor of Art and Photography at Grossmont College in El Cajon, California. She was the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Emerging
dnj Gallery 2525 Michigan Avenue, suite J1, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 315-3551
EXHIBITION: “Suda House: Beneath the Surface”
SHOW DATES: September 8 – October 27, 2012
RECEPTION: Saturday, September 8, 6 – 8 pm
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm
By Jim McKinniss