Carla Gannis & Shayna Hawkins
Hawkins and Gannis were inspired to collaborate on "Tempestuous Flowers" as a fine art, limited edition wallpaper series, because of their shared interest in unproductive infighting amongst women. Both artists have been disheartened by their observations of females picking apart the appearances of other female friends, thus propagating notions that outer appearance is a woman's only or greatest asset.
Both Gannis and Hawkins have produced limited edition wallpapers before that have played on notions of "decorative narrative" and defamiliarizing the familiar, and so they decided to take a similar approach together in this project. They set out to create a beautiful and ornate pattern of flowers that upon closer inspection reveals a slightly darker, albeit humorous, scene of combat and one-up(wo)manship. Like the women who deride and bad mouth their female friends, the flowers in the Hawkins/Gannis pattern bite and choke each other or pull at one another's petals.
How might one reinterpret the "delicate flower" that has historically represented a woman when it transforms into a rageful blossom? Gannis and Hawkins are more interested in asking questions, than supplying answers in their art, and insist upon making work that is simultaneously rich with content and aesthetically pleasing.
Carla Gannis is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received a BFA in painting from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MFA in painting from Boston University. She is currently the Assistant Chair of the Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute.
Gannis is the recipient of several awards, including a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Grant in Computer Arts and a Chashama AREA Visual Arts Studio Award in New York, NY. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, and her work has been reviewed by several prominent publications, including the New York Times, the LA Times and the Village Voice.
Shayna Hawkins is a young multimedia artist who has participated in several group and juried exhibitions both in Alaska and New York, and she has received numerous awards for painting, animation and digital art. Taking a subtle, yet visceral approach to all of her work, Hawkins's practice involves the combination of digital processes with traditional media.