For his first solo exhibition at William Benington Gallery, Tom Jean Webb presents an installation of new works. Unseen Stars Still Shine Bright is Tom's most in-depth exploration into the preoccupations that have dominated his work for some time: iconography, idolatry, and story-telling expressed through drawings and textiles.
Throughout our history Man has created images to tell stories, define collective cultural ideas and to express emotions. These images become imbued with a power that bears a relation to faith or worship, and has been used to great effect by religions (both ancient and modern) and by political parties, by advertisers and of course by artists. The impact of an image gains strength through simplicity and increases further through repetition. For Unseen Stars Still Shine Bright Tom has created a theatrical mise-en-scène with tapestries and drawings punctuated by his own lexicon of imagery. This imagery is heavily informed by the iconography and cultural symbols of Americana and the Native American people, which become leitmotifs linking the various artworks.
The craft of Tom's practice is as significant as, and in many ways echoes, the imagery. By choosing to work with the drawn line and simple tapestries he invokes memories of past cultures. The making becomes a performative act through repetitive action. Using techniques passed through the generations, the objects in this exhibition are imbued with an energy and a significance greater than the sum of their parts.
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