Lesley Dill is an artist of unclouded vision.
Her new show, “Poetic Visions,” is now open for viewing at the Whatcom Museum on 121 Prospect Street. Her work is an exploration of the link between the physical and spiritual and the often mystifying power of words and language.
The installation of “Sister Gertrude Morgan” is a body of work originally shown at the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans. Inspired by Sister Gertrude Morgan — a preacher, artist, writer, spiritualist — Dill explores the relationship between light and dark using mediums ranging from cloth and dressmaking, paper collage and large-scale ink drawings.
Above the large-scale paper works, a variety of small paper collages have been hung. Layered eyes with dripping shapes and dancing figures recall holy visions, angels and cavorting demons. All of this imagery combines and calls to mind the link between body and the spiritual, suggesting “the life-affirming energy that characterizes all faith traditions.”
Dill’s second body of work shown at this exhibition is equally visually stimulating, almost more so than “Sister Gertrude Morgan.” This collection, entitled “Shimmer,” encapsulates Dill’s fascination with words and their inherent power. Dill is an artist inspired by the complexity of words, this in part stemming from the schizophrenia of her father, as well as an eventual dedication to Emily Dickinson.
As Dill has said, words are wings, and in this case she is suggesting that not only are they wings in the sense that they lift us up, but that they secrete a certain electricity. “Shimmer” shows words as an electric cascade of meaning, their bliss and power wrapped up in layers of wire and metaphor.
Dill’s work celebrates the joy of making, so don’t miss the opportunity to see her show and participate in the joy of seeing.
This submission has been edited for length.