CORVALLIS, Ore. – New work by Portland area artists Damien Gilley and Jeff Sheridan will be on display Jan. 25 through March 8 in the Fairbanks Gallery on the Oregon State University Corvallis campus.
The Fairbanks Gallery, 220 S.W. 26th St., is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Admission is free. The gallery will stay open until 8 p.m. on Feb. 16 and refreshments will be served as part of the Corvallis Arts Walk.
Gilley is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including Tetem Kunstruimte, Enshchede, Netherlands; EastWestProject, Berlin; MARC, Kivik, Sweden; Suyama Space, Seattle; Las Belfry, New York; the Art Museum of South Texas and in various Portland locations.
Gilley’s studio process involves randomly laying down multiple, slightly varied laser lines across a darkened room. Each line uniquely adjusts to the physical variations of the room and the objects housed within it. This creates unique and colorful sprites that, when viewed in chorus, point to an architecture existing in an alternate dimension.
Sheridan is a multi-disciplinary artist who paints an archetypal narrative drawing inspiration from science, the occult and folklore. His work explores the dual nature of our contemporary existence, advocating for improvement while living in a state of constant decay.
Sheridan's cartoons are anecdotes on contemporary issues, social tics, psychological minutiae and the environment. They have been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and featured in Creative Loafing, The Tampa Bay Times, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Portland Mercury.
Sheridan employs a reparative process of line-making, in which every mark is a slight variation of its predecessors. This semi-random process denies pre-conception outright. The outcome is a visual imprint of the artist’s experience over the course of a specific moment in time.
The exhibition, titled “Darwin Machine,” is curated by Fairbanks Gallery Coordinator Andrew Nigon. The name is derived from a 1987 article by William H. Calvin, titled “The Brain as a Darwin Machine,” describing how the human brain arrives at complex conclusions through a natural selection process where many slightly varied random possibilities compete against one another to be the most effective.
Within a millisecond, a winning solution is elected, implemented and finally catalogued into a long chain of memories and experiences used to choose future winners. Every decision made affects our neurological hardware and so affects all future decisions. Nigon described the studio practices of Gilley and Sheridan as Darwin Machines.