Barbara Campbell Thomas and Isabel Abbot Show at Les Yeux du Monde

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      Elizabeth Howard



      Barbara Campbell Thomas, Night Space, 2024, acrylic paint and collage on pieced and machine stitched fabric, 48”x60”


      Barbara Campbell Thomas & Isabelle Abbot: Influence + Conversation
      12 July – 25 August, 2024
      Opening with the Artists: Friday, July 12, 5-7 pm

      Les Yeux du Monde is pleased to present Influence + Conversation, an exhibition of new work by Barbara Campbell Thomas and Isabelle Abbot. The exhibition will run from Friday, July 12th through Sunday, August 25th, with an opening reception taking place on Friday, July 12th from 5-7pm.

      Barbara Campbell Thomas is known for a unique studio practice grounded in and influenced by the creative practices of her matrilineal ancestors. Combining painting, sewing, and collage techniques, the artist creates intricately assembled works with richly-textured surfaces that convey movement and depth through an articulate vocabulary of material and form.

      About this exhibition, the artist writes: “In thinking of my paintings conversing with Isabelle’s, and in planning the work I would make for the exhibition, I began contemplating my relationship to landscape. Like Isabelle, I live in the country, surrounded by fields, trees and the quiet of the natural world. Nearly every day, I walk the roads around my home, my steps traversing the open expanse of rural North Carolina. This countryside nurtures my being. As my body falls into the familiar rhythms of walking, I perceive my connection to a place where I am at home. Exterior spaciousness lays a pathway to interior spaciousness and I wonder, what spaces do I also traverse within? And how do I cultivate an interior landscape as resonant, generative and generous as the land comprising my home? The paintings in Influence + Conversation engage these questions.”

                              Isabelle Abbot, A Ramble Through Spring, 2024. Oil on canvas, 48 x 44″

      Isabelle Abbot’s work, grounded in direct observation of her surroundings in central Virginia, distills the essence of her environment into compelling oil on canvas compositions. Her paintings communicate the textures, colors, and atmosphere of specific moments in the landscape, inviting viewers to experience her connection to a place.

      Abbot credits Barbara Campbell Thomas with a lasting impact on her studio practice, writing: “From Barbara, I learned the importance of taking visual notes. Of always observing and pulling from your surroundings to build a visual vocabulary, an alphabet of your own unique way of seeing and capturing the world. I remember that Barbara walked a lot on the country roads and through the fields around her home and would jot down things she noticed, accumulating marks and information to take back to the studio. In my work now, I see repeating lines, marks, and combinations of colors that have evolved directly from my own experience of my environment, my own deep noticing of the world around me. All I can bring to the table that is new and fresh in the dialogue of painting is myself, my unique way of seeing and translating that seeing into paint.”

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