Secret Stories- Anais Dasse and Holly Laws

Anais Dasse creates fictional tableaux which seem to capture individual moments in a dark, surreal landscape. The children who inhabit her wilderness exist unaware of the complexities of traditional morality. They hunt, play, and worship in concert with forest creatures that appear unafraid of them, as if they grew up together. Similar to ethnographic photographs documenting early encounters between Western explorers and deep jungle tribes of the Amazon, Anais Dasse’s paintings are composed with the objective eye of an outsider. Like a scientist, the artist never passes judgment on her subjects – she simply records her observations. However, if her paintings provoke discomfort, it is not accidental. When Anais, a French native, moved to Little Rock in 2014, her culture shock was visceral. Raised with squeaky-clean Disney stories of American culture, Dasse was astonished to learn that middle class life is not always as cheery as she had imagined. Anais Dasse holds a Master’s degree in Design from La Sorbonne, Paris. Her work will be shown in the Arkansas Arts Center’s 2018 Delta exhibition and it is held in the collection of Windgate Charitable Foundation at UALR, and she is represented by Boswell-Mourot Fine Art in Little Rock.

Holly Laws doesn’t value any material over another. She is a sculptor, but she’s just as likely to work with rawhide and artificial sinew as stone or metal. Holly’s choice of media is often based on the needs of her concept or the connotations common to a particular material. In this work, rawhide brings meaning to abstracted form; untanned skin which has been removed from an animal’s body, the production of rawhide is literally violent. In The Bellwether Series, Laws cuts and stretches rawhide to fit a metal framework in the shape of double horns. Despite their bell shapes, these sculptures hang silent and isolated, unable to communicate or sound alarm. The delicate transparency of Thirty-One Bones suggests the fragility of life, while a profusion of uncut sinews evoke growth and reanimation of the broken body. Holly Laws holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. She is currently Associate Professor of Art at the University of Central Arkansas, and has recently been selected to represent Arkansas in an international exhibit, Heavy Metal: Women to Watch 2018 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

In Trinity Gallery May 11 – August 5, 2018.