Trish Tillman Exhibition Opens Friday, March 30, Featuring Over 15 New Works

March 28, 2018 Features

In the two and a half months that Trish Tillman has been in Richmond as a Quirk+VisArts artist-in-residence, the New York City-based artist has created over 15 new works. An exhibition of this work, titled “Remains (to be seen),” will open in the True F. Luck Gallery at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond on March 30.

Tillman created the swath of new art as a resident in the Quirk+VisArts Artist Residency program. Between early January and the late March gallery opening, she has lived and worked at Quirk Gallery and Hotel’s residency space in downtown Richmond. The artist split her time between Quirk’s studio apartment and a second studio space at VisArts.

Tillman is known for her meticulously crafted sculptures. She combines industrial materials with the aesthetics of hard rock, goth, fetish and kitsch. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she is represented by Asya Geisberg Gallery in New York City.

The artist said the change of scenery and the change of pace in Richmond has been valuable for her creative practice. The residency encouraged her to work at a faster pace and she feels she’s created work that’s raw but still carefully crafted with her signature attention to detail.

Tillman anticipates tackling several large-scale projects when she returns home to her New York City studio. She said the time in Richmond allowed her to move beyond her comfort zone and inspired her to expand her practice. “You get comfortable in the ways that you work,” she said. “I think it’s really exciting to take what you’re comfortable with and mix it with an element of surprise.”

While in Richmond, the artist collaborated with several VisArts instructors and studio staff, across a variety of media. She took on an ambitious bent wood project with woodworking instructor David Bohnhoff, trying her hand at some advanced techniques and experimenting with a variety of tools that were new to her.

Tillman also worked on glass projects with VisArts instructor Barbara Atkinson and learned new upholstery techniques with the help of Haleh Pedram. She took an enameling class offered by VisArts facilities manager Liz Borsetti and screenprinted fabric for the exhibition with studio coordinators Sophie Treppendahl and Tyler Stoll. “Everyone has been so generous with their time and skills that it allowed me to push the work further,” she said.

“Remains (to Be Seen)” explores the visual devises of commemoration and is inspired by iconic and personal mementos of Tillman’s late grandparents. She says the work is rooted in her family history, but it’s not necessarily about her. “Whatever histories we might have, it’s ok to deal with them however we want,” she said. “Some people expose a lot in their work. I think in my work I conceal. It’s not right in your face. You have to explore it a bit.”

Tillman’s show opens on March 30 with a 5:30 p.m. artist talk, followed by a public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition runs through June 3, 2018.