In Stephanie Law’s latest exhibition, Garden Wild, she dives into worlds where order and human desire for control and designed beauty are juxtaposed against the inevitable chaos and change that the natural world imposes. The garden is the playground for the gardener, a place where seeds may be planted and nurtured and inhabitants protected from predation. Beauty and balance can be crafted in cultivated doses, but as the series Song explores, walls are not enough to keep the raw power of the wilderness at bay. Cement and clay crumble before the patience of slowly growing tree roots, and the rhythm of the seasons create a beautiful entropic playground.
In a metaphorical sense, the inscribed walls of normalcy were crushed in 2020 by the pandemic and a disruption of everyday life. In struggling with this external chaos, Garden Wild crafts intimate little spaces in which to breathe, find joy, and find personal elements to nurture. As in many of her other works, Law blends the land and sea in her pieces, and mingles shadow and light into surreal realms that perpetually straddle boundaries of reality. Her attention to tiny botanical details gives room for discovery and a sense of timelessness that is another kind of wall of protection against the clamor of uncertainty. She invites you to plant your own seeds, and delight in the slow unfolding of growing things and ideas.
ABOUT STEPHANIE LAW
Stephanie Law’s work is an exploration of mythology mixed with her personal symbolism. Her art journeys through surreal otherworlds, populated by dreamlike figures, masked creatures, and winged shadows. The fantastical permeates through the visions with a promise that this is a world that underlies reality, when viewed with a desire for beauty and a shifted perception.
Archetypes, the basis for the universal appeal of mythological concepts, are one of the defining inspirations for her imagery. This is mingled with the movement of dance. Stephanie has been a dancer for almost two decades, and she uses that experience of how the human body moves and emotes to create a bridge into her artwork so that not only do the humans dance across the page, but the branches of her trees move with a sinuous grace, and the arrangement of inanimate elements has a choreographed rhythm and flow.
Growing up in California, Stephanie has been surrounded by the wealth of natural inspiration all around her. The twisting boughs of live oaks from the hills near her home insinuate themselves into her paintings. The chaos of Nature’s wild growth, and conversely the beauty of decay, echo in the textures and fractal patterns of her work.
She currently showcases her personal work in group and solo exhibitions at galleries in New York, San Francisco, Nashville, and San Diego, while continuing to publish book collections of her art via Shadowscapes Press. The most recent volume is Descants and Cadences. Her work has also been included in the Spectrum annual of fantastic art in for several years, and at the Spectrum showcase in September 2014 at the Society of Illustrators in NY. Her botanical art has been showcased in internationally juried exhibitions at botanical gardens and arboretums. Recent work features insects, imaginative plants, and fae creatures, interwoven into a miniature world that is often overlooked, when size and physical permanence is equated with importance.