Two new exhibits open at the Red Brick Center
Zakriya Rabani first experienced a “state of flow” as a young competitive athlete, playing tennis and volleyball in Florida as a child, and later discovered the state of being intensely focused in his works. .
An exhibition of Rabani’s “Flow System” drawings, intricately patterned ink pieces, opened Thursday at the Red Brick Center for the Arts as part of the five-artist group show “Round and Around” alongside of a solo exhibition by watercolourist Leah Potts.
“The goal is for it to be a drawing that I can use to achieve flow, that mental state of ecstasy or bliss,” said Rabani, who is the sculpture studio coordinator at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, during Thursday’s opening reception.
While sport introduced Rabani to the state of flux, art enhanced him. Rabani remembers working on some of the “Flow System” drawings non-stop for an hour and having real, disorienting tunnel vision when he looked up. The abstract designs take on abstract shapes – inspired, Rabani said, often by nature or shapes he encounters in everyday life – make countless small straight lines linked to create intricate patterns.
He also included sculptural casts of the pens he uses for the drawings in the exhibit.
The exhibition brings together a group of artists working in diverse forms and styles, each exploring motifs in their own way.
“All of these artists use patterns in their artistic creation,” said Sarah Roy, Executive Director of Red Brick.
Alongside Rabani’s work are pieces by abstract painter Alissa Davies, printmaker Johanna Mueller, textile artist Jill Scher, and wildlife photographer Richard Sundeen.
Potts’ solo exhibition, titled “Wild Life”, is a collection of watercolor depictions of wildlife and animals. The body of work emerged as Potts developed an artistic practice after a skiing accident left her paralyzed.
“I call it ‘Wild Life,’ comparing it to my wild life,” Potts said Thursday.
She did all the paintings with her non-dominant hand and used unnatural color choices to put her own impressionistic signature on otherwise realistic portraits of wolves, bears, birds, and more.
“My goal is just to bring out the spirit of each animal and I hope you can feel the difference,” she explained.
The show marks Potts’ Red Brick debut.
“I think she’s an incredibly talented artist and her work is just incredibly beautiful,” Roy said. “And what a powerful story she has as an artist, as well as her incredible technical skills.”
The opening marks the start of a busy summer for the Red Brick Center’s exhibit schedule after more than two years of disruption due to the pandemic. The Red Brick will open new group art exhibits on July 21 and August, and host a celebration of art and culture on August 4 with demonstrations and artist presentations, while educational programming from summer – including a new teen film camp – will begin at the end of June.