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Bette Burgoyne
at Vermillion Gallery, Seattle
Recommendation by Laura Macomber


Bette Burgoyne, 'Cirrostratus,'  2009, black paper, white pencil, 9 x 6.5''

Continuing through July 31, 2010

Bette Burgoyne's latest exhibition of pencil drawings channel a deep, dark, and mysterious mythos: with titles such as "Whisper Vapor," "Sacrum," and "Primordia," they'd better. Each drawing, a veritable webbing of wispy white lines that merge, plait, and even throb across their surfaces of coal-black paper, offers a new and semiopaque supernatural vision of worlds - of creatures, of material, of flora - that only our imaginations can rightly access.

Burgoyne's work, however, is rooted in the natural world: "Each drawing," she claims, "is a reinterpretation and combination of observations made from looking at many things: clouds, rocks, erosion, light, mammal ears, leaves, fur, waves, lichen and science illustrations of electromagnetic fields." But where we might think we see echoes of birch trees, outlines of sand dollars and bird beaks, so do we sense the decomposition latent in them. Burgoyne's pencil-tip latticework is as equally redolent of severed brain tissue and bone, snapped spinal columns and ashes and dust. Any of these drawings might inspire loneliness or sublimity or repose. Their exquisite pencil work will simply inspire.

Vermillion

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