Oil paintings by Erin Deneuville are currently on exhibition at the ArtSpace Gallery at the Visitor Center on the Commons, near “Center Ithaca,” until the end of December. The paintings explore themes of generosity, vulnerability, and sharing a meal. Here’s what Erin told Hot Potato Press about her work:
Q: The title of your exhibition is “Sharp Knives.” Can you tell us a bit about why you chose that title?
Erin: Sharp knives are objects that live in the kitchen and the kitchen is where we invite people to sit down and share with us. But, of course, sharp knives are weapons as well, so the title highlights the fact that we make ourselves a bit vulnerable when we sit down together.
Q: Why focus on the kitchen?
Erin: A lot of the paintings focus on the kitchen or kitchen objects. The kitchen is really the heart of the home where people come together to cook, eat, talk and share. It’s a very important place. A set table is almost like a stage. So many important interactions happen when we sit at a table together. I also find that the objects in the kitchen are imbued with a lot of personality. Sometimes, they say a lot about the people who own them and sometimes, they take on a personality of their own. I like to paint objects that are flawed but still functional (like chipped pottery and broken plates). They have a nice human quality — especially the cups.
Q: What do you hope visitors take away from your exhibit?
Erin: When people see the show I want them to see all of the sharp edges, the angles, the knives, and feel that those things are part of what is beautiful. Being vulnerable is ok.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
Erin: I love that people have become so interested in how and what we eat these days. Sharp Knives deals with where and with whom we eat. It’s a theme that I intend to stick with for a while.
Thanks Erin! In addition to painting, Erin also teaches at-home art lessons for kids, teens, and adults in Ithaca.
Image credit: Images of paintings provided by the artist, Erin Deneuville.