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Artist Flashcards: Rebecca Norton's Dynamic Transformations

Each week Bushwick Daily brings you a new Artist FlashCard introducing an amazing artist living/working/showing in Bushwick who you need to know. Featuring both new and old faces, our goal is to encourage the growth of art scene and to appreciate wonderful talent in our hood! If you know of an artist you would like to suggest for Artist FlashCards, please fill out our online form.

Who: Rebecca Norton

Where: Rebecca’s studio is in The Active Space where she'll be sharing her recent works during this weekend's Bushwick Open Studios!

Rebecca Norton in her studio at The Active Space (photo by Katie Killary for Bushwick Daily)

Where you've seen her work: Into the Arcane of Animation at The Active Space gallery, where playful collages developed from Awkward x 2, the collaborative project between Rebecca and Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, a California-based Abstract painter and past professor of hers. Over the course of several months the two artists mailed multiple artworks back and forth between their respective homes in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, each adding their own surprise elements to metamorphosize the project. Their shared emotions of navigating the L.A. art scene together in the past led these two artists toward a parellel (by way of awkward) ride on the same abstract wavelength.

Detail of Rebecca's triptych of dynamic transformations

Why we're into it: Rebecca's dynamic and variegated works give off an explosive feeling of freedom and solidity. Underneath lie romantic ruminations drawn from her life experiences which she sometimes combines with symbolic structures inspired from mythical Irish tales of love, loss, revenge and transformation. The transformative aspects of these tales ignite a peculiar attraction toward reflective shapes and movements within her work.

In a large triptych currently in-progress inside her studio, a range of geometric shapes fly throughout the canvas much like the shape-shifting goddess The Morrígan, a figure from Irish mythology. There lies a geometry of in-betweenness for the shape-shifter as [she] transforms through multiple roles including a crow, wolf and eel. Standing beside the triptych, eying the cutting edges up close, I could sense that constant movement both within and between the canvases. If you visit Rebecca's studio during BOS, ask her to show you the shape-shifting figure moving throughout the paintings!

Though asymmetrical, Rebecca's works instantly reminded me of the reflected colors and shapes you see when looking into a kaleidoscope. Yet the symmetrical dynamism of a kaleidoscope doesn't live nearly as long as these colors and shapes, which instead break away from the frame and activate their surroundings.

"Cows, Pigs, Wars, Witches" gouache on paper (photo courtesy of Rebecca Norton)

Rebecca is creating new works of transformative light for an upcoming show at Armature Art space, opening this September.

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