“Metal Flower” [Metal, Rivets, Toy Figure]
About the Exhibit:
Alicia Dwyer is both a painter and sculptor. Her subject is the dress and she examines how it can act as protection. Dwyer's work includes oil paint on board and painted metal cut-outs. A theme explored in her current work is armor. Armor protects the body in battle and Dwyer is interested in how the armor dress can translate into a metaphor of how women protect their bodies/selves in the world.
Dwyer's black and white oil paintings of armored dresses capture mystery with a haunting presence. Flowers adorn the armor to symbolize the strength, courage, and force of such protection. She is inspired by classical armor from a range of cultures, including Roman, Celtic, Norse, and Persian. Similarly, the helmet paintings incorporate decorative details that reference these influences.
Painting on metal has interested Dwyer for some time. Painted life-size shaped metal dresses embody movement and mystery in a suspended state. Smaller work echo these qualities in miniature iridescent colored dress cut-outs. Continuing with this medium, she manipulates metal into relief sculptures of deftly constructed flowers. The essence of Dwyer's work in oils and metal addresses the dichotomy between fabric and armor or floral and metal, both of which speak of inherent qualities of power and defense from a feminine perspective.
Alicia Dwyer studied Fine Arts in NYC at Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts, where she earned her BFA. She later moved to Boston. She was an instructor at the Museum of Fine Arts and the DeCordova Museum School, as well as a visiting artist in the Cambridge Public Schools and St. Francis House Day Shelter. Teaching served not only as a career, but enabled Dwyer to sustain a fresh view of artmaking through working with her students. A dozen years ago, Dwyer and her family left the city for a rural life. She started an organic farm, which included raising goats, chickens, and bees, while her children flourished in the countryside. The food she cultivated was donated to a food pantry in a nearby town. At that time, she worked in her studio, primarily during the six winter months when the farm slept.
Recently her children have headed to college and Dwyer has returned to Cambridge to continue her artistic career. The urban environment appeals to her at this stage, but the country has firmly lodged itself into her being, resulting in a duality that has yet to reveal itself in her work. Dwyer has exhibited her work in multiple venues in the greater Boston area, including solo exhibits at the Chandler Gallery in Cambridge and the ArtSpace Gallery in Maynard. Her work was selected for two Fruitlands Museum's Art in Nature Sculpture Exhibits, and for the annual Old Frog Pond Farm Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, both in Harvard, MA. She also has an upcoming solo show at the Hadley Gallery in Worcester.
Ms. Dwyer's website: www.adwyerstudio.com
“Helmet” [Oil on Board]
“Painted Metal Dress” [Oil on Metal]