Artist: Molly Ramage
Exhibition: Sleep Sweat
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby
About the Artist
Molly Ramage is working towards her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Printmaking Program. Her interest in printmaking is due to liking the natural process of creating prints. Ramage also has this ability to remember and experience vivid dreams, which is what this exhibition is based on. She also really likes cats and mentioned that she feels connected to them. One can notice some cat-like imagery in a few of her pieces.
Most of the art found in this exhibition uses paper in some sort of way. Most of the paintings are painted on paper. There is also two paper mache sculptures and a projection image found inside. Most of the color in the paintings are mainly dark colors which gives the whole exhibition a bit of a gloomy feel. It also appears that some of the paintings were drawn using ink and paint. Some pictures hanging on the walls are collages. Hints of glitter can be found on a few of the paintings. Thick blobs of paint are also on a few paintings which adds some dimension to the paintings. The sculpture that features the girl on top of the bed has an interesting shape. The bed is very deformed compared to the beds that we normally sleep on. Another sculpture features a demonic figure that appears to be blowing something with a snake inside of it. This sculpture is suspended in the air to make it look as if the demonic figure is flying.
The overall theme of this exhibition seems to be about nightmares. The name “Sleep Sweat” usually has a negative implication. It is typically associated with the experience someone has when they wake up from a nightmare. When they wake up they are surrounded by sweat because of how much fear they experienced while they were asleep. There’s lots of dream imagery featured in this exhibition. It feels like stepping inside of someone’s nightmares. The sculpture of the girl sleeping on top of the bed with the two monsters underneath is the perfect example of this. Typically, one of the biggest fears someone could have when they are a child is fear of having monsters live under their bed.
Ramage mentioned that the exhibition is centered around the sleeping girl. She is supposed to be the Antichrist even though she doesn’t want to be. There is one picture that depicts the girl talking to someone who could be the old Antichrist. There also happens to be a flying demon (which may be a reference to Ramage’s paper mache sculpture) and a moon with a face on it. This exhibition would not be considered very religious friendly due to references of demons and the Antichrist. Ramage feels that art is a way to process religious ideas.
Synthesis / My Experience
My first thought when I entered the exhibition was “what have I just walked into?” It was because I felt as if I stepped into someone’s nightmare. It felt like a dreamlike experience when I first walked in. I really liked the choice of adding a projector to the exhibition. I think it’s because when things are projected on a projector, the quality isn’t always perfect. This usually could provide images with a hazy look to it. Also, the image shown was also moving. With those two traits in mind, it made me feel as if I was watching a part of the nightmare. Ramage’s pieces work really well together and it achieves the effect that it was going for. The exhibition has a pretty unique story and it’s interesting to see the pieces that are based off of Ramage’s personal experiences.