Ritual And Refuge by Naomi Hart & Duane Ditty

Shows, Performances, and Exhibitions
  Thursday, May 23, 2024 - Saturday, June 15, 2024

  Hallberg Center for the Arts - Freemore Gallery

Ritual And Refuge

by Naomi Hart & Duane Ditty 

A Duo Exhibit in the Freemore Gallery

Ritual And Refuge by Naomi Hart & Duane Ditty  A Duo Exhibit in the Freemore Gallery

Naomi Hart

“I seek to convey the intimate moments of a deliberate practice; the alchemy of a ritual”. 

Using a unique approach to painting with hot beeswax (encaustics) I create what I call ‘visual stories’ that depict a healing journey through the challenges of managing mental health and trauma recovery. Symbolism from nature illuminates an inner world, revealing hope and joy in the dark layers of each story. The lessons I learn through a meditative practice become ritual to me and mirror the magic in the details. 

In studio, I explore a fascination with memories and the powerful yet imperfect impact they have on the future. The elusive intersection where pasts and futures collide or meld creates a dream-like "now” that exists in ritual outside the constucts of modern man. This transformative healing space is full of mystery and therefore completely malleable as a framework for my art. I use surreal metamorphosis to convey the ritual of intentional placement and convergence. I seek to draw the common threads between our stories, and illustrate the reservoir of healing found in the transformative and intimate spaces of the natural world.

Duane Ditty

Perhaps more important than these new paintings themselves is what I went through before I painted them. Four years before I started working on these paintings I was diagnosed with MDS and then had a bone marrow transplant. At that time I had to stop painting and focus entirely on preparing for and recovering from my transplant. It took 4 years before I was able to continue painting again.

Finally, in June 2022, I was physically and mentally strong enough to return to my studio. The paintings in this exhibition are a sample of what I have accomplished since that time. These new paintings tend to be darker and more stark than those I was making before I became sick. They continue, however, to show my abiding interest in the understructure of things before the facade is put on, configurations such as bridges, landscapes, and urban architecture which present purpose over facade.

Today I am interested in things as they deteriorate to the point where the understructure becomes apparent again, that which exists on the periphery and has not yet been refined and cleaned up and made proper again. In the aftermath of my prolonged illness and recovery, I now understand this process in terms of my own body, as physically and mentally I had been broken down to such a point where I couldn't see the possibility of doing anything in the future, let alone painting. It is this degenerative process that I find interesting and that has informed my most recent work


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All Dates

  • From Thursday, May 23, 2024 to Saturday, June 15, 2024