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Cristine Brache, Sally Jerome, and Sarah Smiley "in her eye you see another small eye"

  • Melanie Flood Projects 420 Southwest Washington Street, Suite 301 Portland, OR, 97204 United States (map)

Cristine Brache, Sally Jerome, and Sarah Smiley | in her eye you see another small eye

Melanie Flood Projects

Curated by Rose Dickson

February 17, 2018, through March 24, 2018

Opening reception: Saturday, February 17, 2018, from 6-8 PM

Poetry Reading with Jae Choi and Mary Szybist: Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at 7 PM

MFP hours: Thursday-Friday 125 PM, Saturday 124 PM & by appointment


Melanie Flood Projects is pleased to present in her eye you see another small eye, an exhibition that explores the many ways human beings attempt to understand, respond to and monumentalize interpersonal relationships. The exhibition is curated by Rose Dickson and features painting, ceramic, sculpture, and poetry by artists Cristine Brache, Sally Jerome and Sarah Smiley. Accompanying the exhibition, Dickson will host an evening of poetry with poets Jae Choi and Mary Szybist on Wednesday, February 28th.

In Celebrating a Combined Knowledge of Materials, Sally Jerome (Brooklyn, New York) paints human connection as a physical interaction. Four characters, first molded in clay and then painted from life, face each other with open palms to meet in the center of the canvas. Meticulously painted, these works are direct investigations into our capacity to communicate between language. Jerome often paints a ribbon-like material to signify human vitality and shared experience. This material emanates and flows from heads, mouths and torsos, at times intertwining with those of others. People Really Connect With My Painting includes the artist herself—through a depiction of one of her own paintings—attempting to interact with her audience (backs turned). Jerome’s connections between characters are literal and material, while the environments they coexist within are supernatural and wholly subconscious. 

Cristine Brache (Miami, Florida) is a master of conflating public and private space. In her work Dramatic Storms she uses material and language to create a relationship of both intimacy and control. The key, a tool used to allow passage to restricted areas, is inscribed with the title of the piece, Dramatic Storms, and left inserted into the lock component of the work, inscribed with the word “Hole”. Not only is the lock a symbol for concealment, but the connection between these two parts is also hidden inside, leaving the viewer an outsider. The vulnerability of the material—mother of pearl—in tension with the rigid nature of the mechanism, recalls the kind of dreamlike anxiety that precedes something which is sure to end in violence.

Sarah Smiley’s (Los Angeles, California) work often celebrates her personal friendships with sculpture and objects acting as monuments of recognition. In The Sun (Affirmation Clock #2), Smiley plays with the quotidian ritual of time-telling by exchanging the numbers on a clock for a surprising reminder: you have very nice friends. Even as it is presented before us, the subtlety of the lettering allows the affirmation to recede from our attention, much like that which we most depend on. The color of the clock and its position on the wall evoke the warmth of the sun in a kind of caricature of the cold observation of passing time. Like Brache and Jerome, Smiley’s works reveal a vulnerability in the maker. Through both their sincerity and optimism, we experience not control, but appreciation.

Rose Dickson received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. In September 2016 Melanie Flood Projects presented Slow Mask, a solo exhibition of photography, sculpture and video by Rose that included a poetry reading featuring Ryan Mills, Erin Perry, Timmy Straw and Michele Glazer, and culminated with a one-time outdoor video performance at Mocks Crest Park. Currently, Rose is participating in the artist studio program Neighbors, founded by Studio J and housed in Yale Union in Portland, Oregon. This spring she looks forward to an eight-week residency at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.