The Sea Islands Center Gallery at the University of South Carolina Beaufort will present HIVE, an installation by Adrian Rhodes, from March 1-29. An opening reception will take place from 5-8 p.m. on March 1 with a gallery talk by the artist at 6 p.m. Located at 1106 Carteret St., the gallery is open Tuesday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The artist will employ 550 sculptural bee woodcut prints to transform the gallery space for the HIVE exhibition, as well as printed bee wallpaper, bee-printed polyhedral sculptures suspended from the ceiling, acrylic paintings, collages, paper-cut bees affixed to surfaces, ribbons and more.
Blood and Honey, an acrylic and collage piece included in the installation, features images of cut-open pomegranates seemingly oozing honey amid a double-helix strand, spider web patterns, and Japanese wave motifs. Dyed red paper will extend in waves from this piece into the center of the room. Another acrylic painting, “Searching for Callisto,” depicts an abstracted hive full of bees surrounding a circular celestial/astronomical chart above an observatory on a grey cliff amid swarming bees. Bright red pomegranate seeds fill the center of the chart.
The artist depicts bees because they form complex maternal bonds across generations. The crucial function of these pollinators, paired with the complexity and matriarchal nature of the hive, references life’s vitality and renewal. The pomegranate draws on dual natures of life and death, fertility, renewal and decay. DNA structures and collage processes examine issues of inheritance. Pulling from the iconography of these symbols and objects, the artist compels us to question how we find balance in the extremes of bitter and sweet. By interweaving the imagery of bees and pomegranates, Rhodes explores the inevitable opposition and coexistence of being.
Rhodes earned a Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking from Winthrop University, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in General Studio with an emphasis on Drawing and Painting. She has exhibited her work throughout the Carolinas and has frequently received awards in these competitions. Rhodes earned the top prize at Contemporary South in 2017 and Best of Show at the York County Juried Exhibition in 2013. She exhibited at the Southern Graphics International Conference in Knoxville, Tenn., in 2015, participating in the Sphere of Existence exchange portfolio. At the SGCI Conference in Portland in 2016 she had prints in the Trans-Dimensional exhibition and the Some Assembly Required Exchange Portfolio. Her work was recently featured in Paper Worlds at the Spartanburg Art Museum in Spartanburg, S.C.
For more information about the artist and to view her most recent installations, visit her website at adrianrhodes.com.