News & Press

Sherrie Gallerie – Mythology Figures in Playful Images

Thursday, January 7, 2021
The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)

Melissa Starker, For The Columbus Dispatch

The world created in the paintings of Laine Bachman lies in a realm amid fairy tales, mythology and the everyday experiences of parenting.

“Birds of a Feather” in Sherrie Gallerie is the first solo show for the artist, who has exhibited pieces of her fine art and beaded jewelry in the gallery for several years.

“I’ve always played around with mythological creatures — mermaids, deer women and stuff like that,” said Bachman, who studied at the Columbus College of Art & Design. “With this series, I really delved into that and played with different imagery I could get through it.”

The new series was also shaped by the curiosity of her 5-year-old daughter, Bachman explained.

“She really influences my work in the way she sees things, in how she goes in the backyard looking for bugs. She’s always telling me to put certain animals in and how to place things. And all the stories I’ve been reading to her are fairy tales.”

Bachman’s muse is the harpy, one of the winged spirits from Greek mythology with a beautiful woman’s head and a bird’s body. It hovers over several pieces — such as Tea Party, in which a yellow-bellied bird woman sits at a table with various well-dressed animals and reptiles for a nighttime snack. The scene is framed with an ornate border of leaves and pink lilies.

In Oasis, another woman-bird hybrid stands before a desert setting, with a hole in the area of her heart revealing an egg nestled inside. The motif appears in other types of creatures as well — including Sea Queen, a humanoid underwater dweller with the style of Marie Antoinette and a small, round aquarium filled with crustaceans at her core.

Each of the artist’s subjects bears a heart-shaped face with a small, perfectly formed mouth and almond-shaped eyes, which seem large and beguiling enough in which to get lost.

Still, Bachman hopes that viewers don’t miss the details that surround her fantastic figures.

Layers of dense, lush plant life are found in works such as In the Undergrowth and Fern Fawn.

Tea Party features guests buzzing in the air or crawling through the grass; and in Go Fish, a fun, aquatic take on C.M. Coolidge’s vintage paintings of dogs playing poker, a small crowd can be seen swimming in the background.

“I like to point out things people might miss, all the small creatures in the world that keep our ecosystem going,” Bachman said. “They might be insignificant to some, but they’re really important. I try to honor all those little things.”