Published on October 1st, 2014 | by TLV News0
“Freak Show: Southside Gallery to feature new mixed media works by Blair Hobbs, October 2014”
Freak Show – Works by Blair Hobbs
Artist Reception Thursday, October 2, from 6 – 8 pm
Oxford, Mississippi – Blair Hobbs will exhibit new work at Southside Gallery during the month of October. Hobbs’ exhibition, entitled Freak Show, will feature acrylics, oils, pencils, pens, sequins, glitter, and many other recycled and reclaimed items.
Blair Hobbs was born in Oxford, Miss. and grew up in Auburn, Ala. She has an MA in Creative Writing (poetry) from Hollins University and an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) from the University of Michigan. She currently teaches undergrad Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. Hobbs is married to John T. Edge; she has a son, Jess, a cat, Eugene, and a dog, Lurleen.
Hobbs wrote an artist’s statement that summarizes her concept and process. The statement offers insight into Hobbs’ approach to her work:
The show is called “Freak Show.” My intention is not to make fun of the freak, but to celebrate all God’s freaks of nature, both real and unreal. The show is meant to be fun and to demonstrate some visual word play. Many of the paper dolls were drawn on a trip I took with my husband, who is a writer, to North Carolina. I asked him to give me names of freaks, we’d play with the names, and I’d draw them. We came up with Pinhead, the Swordfish Swallower, Lobster Roll Boy, and others, together. Some of the real freaks of nature are animals that I just find funny, like flounder, because they have both eyes on one side of their heads. And my large canvas is of Jubilee, an unpredictable event that occurs in only two places in the world, somewhere in Japan, and in Mobile Bay. When Jubilee happens, oxygen levels run low in the water, and the fish, shrimp, crabs, etc…seem to dance out of the water and onto the land. Folks can just walk up to them with a bucket and scoop up loads of dinner. I love that particular freak show, though I’ve actually never seen one.
I use mixed media. Acrylics, oils, pencils, pens, sequins, glitter, and many items from the craft aisles of big-box stores. I find many crafts targeted at young girls and women to be creatively stifling. I wish scrapbookers drew their own designs, wrote their own lettering, instead of peeling stickers from a template. So, I try to get as creative (weird) as possible with these low-on-the-hog materials. I also use recycled candy wrappers, wires, paper, and broken glass.
I love intersecting art and words, but with this show, I use fewer than usual words. My intention for this is to have the viewer provide the narrative. As a matter of fact, an upcoming assignment for my students will involve them writing from the point of view of one of my created characters in a bit of very short fiction. This will be the first time I’ve collaborated with my own students, and their stories will generate more ideas for more freak show art, and I’ll just see how long I can keep that very weird ball rolling.
An artist’s reception is scheduled for Thursday, October 2, 6:00 – 8:00 PM. For more information contact Southside Gallery, 662.234.9090.