Gillian Theobald: Heavy Light @ Studio E
Luscious and green 🍃
Published March 17, 2023
March 10th – April 1st
When you look at a Gillian Theobald painting, you’re not just standing in a gallery. Instead, you’re stepping into a luscious, kaleidoscopic garden. Unexpected colors compose plant life—funky greens, lilac purples, crispy yellows, hostile oranges, and salmon pinks come together. It’s delightful and psychedelic.
Theobald mainly uses Japanese papers like kozo and okawara, which absorb her paints in exciting ways. These “fictive”—as she calls them—scenes of nature almost blur into the abstract, with leaves and bushes nearly blending into each other to appear to be one massive, undefinable body. Because she hardly uses dark colors to outline the flowers and trees in her gardens, they look like trippy photo negatives to me.
In her solo exhibition Heavy Light at studio e in Georgetown, Theobald shows all new work created over the past year. This body of work furthers her exploration of imaginary gardenscapes that look like afterimages emblazoned on the back of your eyelids on a bright summer afternoon. The show also features collages made of found packaging she manipulated and painted into folded, dynamic shapes. Spend a day in her garden.
📸: Courtesy Gillian Theobald
Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.