Handcrafted headdresses, bird’s nest chandeliers and abstract paintings all comprise “Crowning Glory,” Greenport artist Taffi Laing’s unique pop-up exhibit at Rothman’s Gallery in Southold, where a reception will be held this weekend.
“I am uber-sensitive and I have to create something beautiful to me and transmute the negative energy I feel sometimes,” said Laing, who is co-hosting the show with her husband, “Mountain” drummer Corky Laing.
“I get happier when I make something I think is really good,” she continued. “Being somewhat of a Renaissance person, I try all kinds of mediums and I find that I am pretty good at it … certainly according to people who like what I do. But more importantly, I like what I do.”
“Crowning Glory,” which opened June 18, is on view at Rothman’s Gallery from noon to 6 p.m. through Monday, July 4.
A public reception will be held at the Route 25 gallery, which is located inside Rothman’s Department Store, from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 2. Corky Laing, Denny Cult, Bonnie Parker, Josh Horton and Ron Rothman will all perform during the event. Light refreshments will be served.
“While I am making headdresses or painting an abstract, I forget about the world for a while,” said Laing, who is also a photographer and videographer. “I am grateful to be in this beautiful beach town on the North Fork, where I feel relatively safe and free to express my ideas into wearable art and abstract paintings, even illuminated bird’s nests.”
According to a press release, Laing worked for many years as a videographer for Bravo TV. Her television show, “In the Mind Of,” aired on Bravo and The Biography Channel. In addition, her photography and personal work have appeared in publications across the world.
Read on for descriptions in Laing’s own words about some of the pieces currently on view at “Crowning Glory,” along with insight on her creative process.
“While traveling the globe for my work with Bravo Arts & Minds TV Canada, I came across amazing tribal and iconic headdresses in the market. I purchased them just to view as wearable art in my space… When I got married I decided to get the feel of the 1930s wedding headdress with a long veil and that was successful. I was instantly inspired to try other designs. I believe the headdress calls upon the spirit of the piece. It makes you feel differently. You will walk differently and you need an entire outfit to pull off this look. It is an act of courage and commitment. But most importantly, it is a whole lot of fun.”
The incredible architecture of bird’s nests has inspired these luminesta chandeliers. … On the North Fork, I am attracted to these nests I see all over the place. I wanted to put them everywhere in my space. I decided to make my own. An illuminated nest, that’s what these chandeliers are.
Using grapevines and driftwood I would find on the beach, as well a variety of artificial flowers and vines to accent the chandelier, I can replicate my version of a nest.”
Acrylic abstract paintings
I have been painting for years. This show features 3- to 4-by-6-foot paintings and 7- to 16- by 20-foot resin-coated acrylic paintings.
This exhibit is a soulful expression in paint and color. I found it incredibly glorious to just play with color alliteration. While working, I would give myself a limited amount of paint color to work, generally three or four colors, and then challenge myself to create movement and energy. Abstract art is difficult in the sense that it is a feeling expressed in paint. I am not looking at anything, as I am just assessing where I am in the paint and what textural technique should I add next. These paintings are dictated by my moods and my life experiences. You get a blurry snapshot of visuals in your head over the years and they can be drawn upon for painting… The Palette Series is non-representational in a traditional abstract style. The great thing about my art is to see the expressions on others’ faces. These images do stir feelings in the viewer. Which, to me, ultimately is the purpose… to get a feeling, a vibration, a calling, a something otherworldly that may be difficult to express in words but definitely moves you.”