For the past year I have collected striking phrases from personal conversations and encounters. These phrases become the titles for my compositions. They also guide my decision making as I work through constructing a visual embodiment of the experience housed in those abstracted words. These particular works summarize a six-month period during which most of my actions revolved around the preparation for and expectation of looming and uncertain change. Thus, the images are documents of anxiety, longing, restlessness, hope, and apprehension. Additionally, they represent a directionless pursuit of things and people that feel close but are momentarily obscured. The sensation is a universal one of searching for a defining opportunity that should be right around the corner, meeting a life partner that has lived in the same neighborhood for years and was right under your nose, or seeking the help you need that is probably right at the next stop. 17 feet away is a collection of specific narratives retold through objects and gestures in painting, that reveal these sentiments.
Carmen Neely (b. 1987, Charlotte, NC) earned a MFA in studio art from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2016, and a BFA in painting from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2012. Earlier this year her first solo show in New York, it makes it more so if you say so, exhibited at Jane Lombard Gallery. Other recent exhibitions include CONTEXTURE, curated by Cey Adams, Jane Lombard Gallery, NY; From the Fringe, AIR Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Three- Fold, Ghost Gallery, Seattle, WA. Currently her work is featured in the June 2017 issue of Art in America, and she is completing a residency at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Neely lives and works in Greensboro, NC.