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Anne Darby Parker's latest series features humans and sea creatures

An Unlikely Duo

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As the days grow darker, a bright new local art exhibition opens at Meyer Vogl Gallery. The collection, Fish and Figure, features two unlikely artistic subjects coming together in beautiful and expressive form on canvas.

Local artist Anne Darby Parker's solo exhibition will prominently feature her signature pieces, which often depict the female form as their main subject. However, in this specific collection, Parker's pieces will also highlight a new kind of subject: fish. Fish and Figure specifically features a series of the artist's work, exploring the intersection of the those titular subjects.

Through a series of abstract gesture drawing and painting, fish and figure collide in a vivid intersection. An accidental discovery, the combination of fish and female form was happenstance. "When I was stepping back from the easel, I kept seeing fish shapes that I had not consciously drawn. The fish were not designed, but rather, they evolved," says Parker. From there, she explored the possibility of combining the two. "The more I considered the idea, the more natural the series seemed, because of my work with figures and my family's heritage with fish. My grandfather was a fisherman; I was raised around the Lowcountry oceans and marshes, and my husband and I chose to raise our family here as well."

Some of Parker's paintings feature fish as the most identifiable subject, while others are more subtle. "This series was a challenge that called for bigger canvases, broader marks, and bolder colors," Parker says. "Each piece depicts a powerful and strong female figure, which I think complements the delicate and intricate nature of fish."

Katie Geer, director of Meyer Vogl Gallery, has known Parker for over 15 years and is deeply familiar with her body of work. While visiting Parker in her studio, Geer noticed the fish pattern within some of Parker's paintings and was immediately drawn to the new subject. "We decided there in the studio to have a solo exhibition in the gallery featuring this," Geer says.

From there Parker worked on creating a series based on the idea of combining the subjects of "fish and figure." The combination came naturally, "I love how the figures and the landscape integrated into each other," Parker says.

Parker's contemporary work doesn't fit in just one box; you can feel the sheer energy of the female spirit depicted in her exciting, bright abstract paintings. Geer describes the work as soulful and unapologetic. "Strong, proud women are depicted," she emphasizes. Parker's background as a Lowcountry local explains the inspiration she feels from fish as well. Without a doubt, Parker's voice shines through her forward and bold art. When looking at the figures of the women, you can tell that, as Geer puts it, she was "drawn to create these people."

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