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Alchemy Dreams: New Paintings by Allison Bogard Hall

A Solo Exhibition Awarded and presented by the CAN Triennial and BAYarts:

Available to View in Person from June 7 through July 6, 2024


Alchemy: the medieval process of transforming ordinary metals into gold. What does it mean to dream of it? In a series of new oil paintings by Allison Bogard Hall, the artist presents snapshot-like images combining landscapes and figures that take us deep into a world on the razor’s edge of reality. Each piece out of (29 paintings total)acts as a still from a larger narrative, moments captured and frozen in time. From a lone figure in the window to the sudden appearance of wings, the artist asks the viewer: What is real? What is transformed?


“As an artist, my fascination lies in the power of repetition within everyday life. The act of reviewing, revisiting, and reimagining specific images consumes me until I feverishly translate them onto panel or canvas. Alchemy Dreams unravels different motifs and themes that permeate my work: swans, the moon, a black dog in the snow- to name a few. The figure of the swan, for example, has evolved to symbolize notions of body autonomy, motherhood, friendship, and the female form in my paintings—a reflection of my personal journey navigating societal and political dynamics as a woman and mother within the current fabric of our society. Inspired by my religious upbringing, I also draw upon imagery from illustrated stained glass windows and Catholic iconography, infusing my oil paintings with jewel tones and glazes that evoke the play of light within darkness, both in the interior and exterior. Through my work, I offer viewers glimpses into introspective spaces, providing moments of respite amidst the chaos of the everyday. These portals, whether realistic windows to the outside world or serene landscapes with distorted hues, mirror experienced struggles and triumphs with mental health, grief, and the complexities of new motherhood. 


Motherhood has imbued me with a newfound reverence for the mundane—the fleeting moments that punctuate our lives. I strive to capture these instances within my paintings, whether it is chasing after my son on a hike or a discovered polaroid of an unknown world, intertwining them into compositions that blur the line between memory and myth. Through the integration of found images with my own photographs and memories, I construct narratives that exist on the cusp of reality and fiction—crafted snapshots that tell tales both tall and true. I seek to craft and convey a sense of the sublime to the viewer through the uncanny nature of these pieces. “


The Body of Work Alchemy Dreams was made in memory of Artist Heather Winchell.

May she fly on forever.

Read More in CAN's Summer 2024 Issue Here

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