Emerging artist Verneda Lights believes that “Art is a medicine, and medicine is an art.” This is the driving philosophy behind her latest exhibition, Gullah Me, which opens August 6 at the BASEcamp Gallery.
The genre-bending exhibit stands at the crossroads of techspressionist, Afrosurreal, and traditional fine art, with the individual works being the product of the artist’s own quest to find insight and healing as she cared for her elderly parents and younger brother, who had suffered a stroke. Lights gives vibrant and poignant expression to the reality of sickness, grief, and loss, and the struggle to come to terms with it. Infusing her work with several layers of dualism (art/medicine, tradition/technology, analog/digital), Lights herself is also a bridge between two worlds. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, she practiced medicine for 20 years before turning to art full-time.
Gullah Me exists within this realm of juxtaposition and dualism, positioning traditional Gullah art, which uses the application of paint to a physical canvas, within a new paradigm of technology and digital instruments. The result? A techspressionist, post-Gullah visual and emotional experience that melds memory, family, and healing and challenges traditional notions of art.
As an emerging artist, Verneda Lights further shifts the landscape of post-Gullah art by including faces, which historically have not been part of the iconic Gullah art tradition. In her hands, portraiture finds its place within the intersection of tradition and technology and becomes a powerful tool for storytelling and gaining insight into the human psyche.
Visitors to the exhibit can experience this merging of the analog and the digital firsthand, as the framed art prints are accompanied by scannable QR codes that allow visitors to go online to read more about, and purchase, the artwork.
The full 18-work solo exhibit runs from August 6 to September 30 at the BASEcamp Gallery of the Beaufort Digital Corridor, 500 Carteret Street, Beaufort, South Carolina. Seven works by emerging artist Verneda Lights are currently on display in the space, offering a sneak preview of the exhibit.