SARAH MCRAE MORTON
Carousel of Life and Death
The past few years have been an adventure for Kerry Simmons, in which she has begun to mix her own egg tempera paints. In a solo show at Robert Lange Studios titled Wild, Simmons will showcase works in the new medium, as well as works in oil.
For this body of work, Simmons took heed from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, in which he wrote “We need the tonic of wildness. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable.”
To capture the image in Stage, Simmons and her niece ventured into an abandoned home. “My niece is transitioning into adolescence, but she’s still got the unselfconsciousness of a child,” Simmons says. “She was just running around in her bathing suit and water shoes, and I got her to pause for a few moments and let me photograph her. I love the juxtaposition. She’s in this crumbling house, coming into her own, and she’s on a stage for all to see.”
Nest was the first painting Simmons completed in egg tempera, and as such, it is a particular point of pride. It features a woman with a shock of white hair piled up around her head like a nest. “The last few years I have been very taken with Flemish and Northern Renaissance painting, and wanted to see if I could re-create some of the unearthly glow and detail,” she says. Egg tempera dries quickly and can be layered endlessly. The result, an amalgamation of dozens of layers, brings a satiny sheen to the image.
Wild opens at Robert Lange Studios on December 7, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m., and remains on view through December 21.
1Demilune, oil on panel, 8 x 16"
2One Year Later, oil on panel, 8 x 6"
4Roar, egg tempera on panel, 16 x 20"5Stage, egg tempera on panel, 12 x 16"
3Nest, egg tempera, 6 x 8"