Sarah Williams
Area Codes

Talley Dunn Gallery
January 16 – February 20, 2016

In her first exhibition with the gallery, Williams presents a series of small oil on panel paintings.  Each depicts a quiet, small-town scene in the stillness of night, curiously devoid of human interaction.  All of the works come from photographs taken at night of ordinary, rural sites around the Midwest with an early, first-generation digital camera. In her studio, Williams transforms these images into painted nightscapes illuminated with the unusual glow of street lamps, house lights and strings of holiday bulbs, all casting their glow onto surrounding objects. 

The straightforward nature of the paintings is deceptive, as the works evoke different moods depending on the quality of light and context of the site presented.  For example, Meadowmere Street offers a simple food truck with an amusing hula dancer form atop its sign, as the glimmer from the neon and service window lights illuminate the surrounding spaces and imbue the simple cracked lines of the street with a mysterious quality.  In contrast, the isolated house depicted in Marine Drive glows with an eerie loneliness, its shadows filled with reflected somber colors that show the influence of American painter Edward Hopper.  Williams fills her everyday tableaus of small town America with equal parts of mystery and moody reverie.