Fascinated by surrealist art? Want to get insight on an artist’s process? Join Thomas Nelson’s Janice Hathaway when her exhibition, “Transmorgraphy,” opens at Williamsburg’s Linda Matney Gallery this month.
The free exhibition opens Friday, Feb. 7. For three hours beginning at 5:30 p.m., patrons can meet the artist, have refreshments and enjoy dazzling surrealist works of art.
Having crafted photo collages based on her photography for many years, the veteran art professor developed a process she calls transmorgraphy. Her unique method of working with Photoshop results in convincing surrealist landscapes that she sees as “living moments as imaginary situations.”
“There is a strong interplay between plausible and implausible,” said Hathatway, “as I ask the viewer to suspend disbelief and embody my ‘surreality’ merging dreams and fantasy, the conscious and the unconscious.”
She begins with her photographs of landscapes, flowers, figures and historical artifacts, and then uses Photoshop to digitally cut, blend, warp, paint and incorporate numerous adjustment layers to achieve a unified space. Her process expands and informs contemporary surrealist printmaking, photography, photo-collage, and digital media.
Hathaway creates her works are over a period of time often taking a month to complete a single transmorgraph. As the composition and concept are developed, the many photographic pieces are cut out digitally, warped, scaled, painted and blended while adjusting and color and contrast as needed to gradually create a cohesive space. She makes several large format test proofs in order to see the subtle revisions needed to refine the image and make it print well on paper.
“This proofing before a final piece is finished is a typical method for a printmaker,” noted Hathaway.
Viewers to the exhibition will see a large selection of works including recent large format prints that include landscapes and figurative subjects. Hathaway developed transmorgraphy to differentiate her “highly-evolved process” from the standard cut and paste process that others in the surrealist international community widely use.
She began working as an established Surrealist in the late 1970s when she became a founding member of the Alabama Surrealist group, Glass Veal. She is currently a member of the Alabama surrealist group, Fresh Dirt.
She had a solo exhibition in Santiago de Compostela, Spain in 2016; is a key figure in the upcoming publication, Pataphysics and Surrealism in Alabama(University of Alabama Press); and appeared in Icepick to the Moon, a film about the early Alabama group Raudelunas released in 2018. She is included in The International Encyclopedia of Surrealism released in 2019.
She exhibits routinely, and in the past five years, has been featured at the exhibition Surrealist Sympatica!in Birmingham Alabama; exhibits regularly in local art shows such as Artists Who Teachand Virginia Artists;and internationally in surrealists exhibitions in England and Portugal. Her works can also be seen in publications internationally such as Peculiar Mormyridfrom the United States and Canada, The Archaeology of Hopefrom Isle of Wight England, and the Canadian publication, La vertèbre et le rossignol.
In addition to being an educator, artist and photographer, Hathaway is graphic designer who began teaching graphic and media design at Thomas Nelson in 2008. The Williamsburg resident has a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. in printmaking and photography from the University of Alabama.
Don’t miss the Feb. 7 opening. The art show runs through March 14 ending with a 2 -- 5 p.m. closing reception and a digital presentation. In addition, catalogs will be available.
The Linda Matney Gallery is located at 5435 Richmond Road.
Directions to the gallery: From Richmond Road (US 60 East), turn right on to service road between Shops at Carolina Furniture and the Astromical Pancake House. The gallery is at the end of the road on the right adjacent to Abe’s Self Storage.
Gallery hours:Thursday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. or by appointment; learn more at lindamatneygallery.com.