Where Do We Go From Here?

Art & Light Gallery

2020 Two person show with Teresa Roche at Art & Light Gallery

Greenville, SC

Sept 1 - Sept 26 2020



This was a question Nicole Renee Ryan and Teresa Roche asked themselves when responding to each other’s work. They decided to play visually back and forth, making one decision at a time, responding to colors and shapes and ideas in one another's work. It was about exploring new works built of fragments of memories and moments.

Then COVID happened. And suddenly, the lighthearted task of exploring these moments together seemed different. “Where Do We Go From Here,” was merely a working title until it became evident that the question itself, in the title, was an expression of how we were both approaching life and our work. And the question “Where Do We Go From Here?” took on a different meaning.

Teresa responded to these unusual times by sewing, cutting, stitching, and painting both paper and mylar. This new work is rooted in the fragility of life. Her half realistic shapes are representative of life experience however are abstracted in ways that have true meaning to us. The unreal can seem more real. The works that are almost always mixed media become representations of both real and imagined experiences.

Nicole responded to self isolation by repainted older works. Pushing old ideas back towards obscurity in the landscape and pulling new colors and shapes forward. Her work became about how a place can be suddenly reinvented into something similar but new. Dreamlike in it’s weirdness and it’s inability to achieve stasis.

In putting together this show, Teresa and Nicole collaborated virtually through video, keeping each other up to date on new works, and responding then to the work the other one was doing. It was a great way to stay in touch during a crazy time and a way to feel grounded in our art practice. As they worked, they referenced each other’s process pieces through video, photos and phone conversation. Although they have been miles apart and have never met in person, they found a kindred spirit in the way that they approach their art.

They both love to savor those moments and memories, freezing them in time, then mix these moments together. It’s playful, exploratory, and ultimately more interested in asking questions. One of which, (that we both constantly ask ourselves in our studio practice and in life!)

Where do we go from here?