Vaughn Sills: Inside Outside

January 20 - Febraury 28, 2021
Opening Reception: (following socially distanced guidelines) Friday, February 5, 2021, 5:00-8:00 pm
Kingston Conversation: Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 7:00-8:00 pm EST - Featuring Vaughn Sills with Chantal Zakari. >> Register here for Zoom.

  • Vaughn Sills

    Purple Parrot Tulips, Northumberland Strait, archival pigment print, 2020.

    Purple Tulips, Northumberland Strait
  • Vaughn Sills

    Japanese Lillies, Moon Setting over Northumberland Straight, archival pigment print, 14 x 21 inches (28 x 24 inches framed), 2020.

    Japanese Lillies, Moon Setting over Northumberland Straight
  • Vaughn Sills

    Ranunculus, Wright's Pond, archival pigment print, 14 x 21 inches (28 x 24 inches framed).

    Ranunculus, Wright's Pond
  • Vaughn Sills

    Abutilon, North Wiltshire, archival pigment print, 14 x 21 inches (28 x 24 inches framed), 2017.

    Abutilon, North Wiltshire
  • Vaughn Sills

    Dogwood, Northumberland Straight, archival pigment print, 14 x 21 inches (28 x 24 inches framed), 2020.

    Dogwood, Northumberland Straight
  • Vaughn Sills

    Ranunculus, Northumberland Straight, archival pigment print, 2017.

    Ranunculus, Northumberland Strait
  • Vaughn Sills

    Hydrangea, Carragher's Pond, archival pigment print, 2020.

    Hydrangea, Carragher's Pond
  • Vaughn Sills

    Queen Anne's Lace, Bedeque, archival pigment print, 14 x 21 inches (28 x 24 inches framed), 2016.

    Queen Anne's Lace, Bedeque
  • Vaughn Sills

    Japanese Anemone, Gallagher's Road, archival pigment print, 2019.

    Japanese Anemone, Gallagher's Road

Artist Page
Press Release

Artist Statement

I created the first of these still-life images when I was drawn to photograph a small bouquet of red anemones and it occurred to me to place them before one of my landscape photographs from Prince Edward Island, my ancestral home. It was mid-winter, such beauty was much coveted; and I succumbed to buying more flowers and culled through my photographs looking for possible "backgrounds." I soon found I had created a set of parameters for these quietly surreal photographs.

My process now includes making new land and seascapes, also on PEI; and once back in my studio, for each bundle of flowers, I find the right landscape image to rephotograph with the flowers, choose a vase, and obsessively arrange the flowers until the scene comes together. An equally important element is natural light, which I have the least control over, and often shifts as I am photographing. It comes from two windows and a skylight and sometimes, happily, creates reflections on the glass and shadows that could not exist against a real sky.

The fundamental concept of this work, expressed in the title "Inside Outside" is a juxtaposition of the highly cultivated versus wild, untamed natural world. Domestic life is represented by garden-grown flowers in vases and alludes to women's work in gardens and in the home; while the outside world is seen in the images of sea and land.

A second layer has to do with mortality and beauty. The landscapes and seascapes I make are part of my series, "True Poems Flee," about grieving for my mother – they are expressions of sadness, love, memory, and connection. Flowers, so short-lived, their beauty so ephemeral, remind us of death and contrast with the feeling of eternity and infinitude implied by the sea and rolling hills. As it happens, my mother was an unusually beautiful woman; the metaphor is obvious.

The planet's emergency today inevitably adds a third layer of meaning. The seas are rising; the shores will be submerged – all by our hand. The farmer's field I lovingly photograph pollutes the local streams and ponds; a good number of the glorious flowers that I purchase are delivered to the flower market by trucks and probably airplanes that contribute to climate change. We can no longer assume that the natural world we have known is eternal.



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