Brock Gordon & Pippa Browne Exhibition Opening

Saturday, Apr, 1 2017 — 4:30 PM
At: Greenspace Gallery (behind Woody's Bike Shop & Shenanigans)

On Saturday, April 1 at 4:30pm, Brock Gordon will deliver an artist’s talk on his “Domestics” painting series, followed by Pippa Browne’s talk on the “Boxes, Beings and Buying” project, a dance choreographed by Ashley McManamay and Courtney World, followed by a reception at the Greenspace Gallery (the green building behind Woody's Bike Shop).  The two presentations and the dance performance will celebrate two collections of art that are coming together to create a combined visual comment inspired by the Mellon Globalization Forum's 2nd Annual Conference: “A Sense of Space and Place: Global and Local Perspectives.”  The two art collections can be viewed on Saturday, April 1 between 11 AM and 7 PM at Greenspace.  Brock Gordon will be available at Greenspace to discuss his work at that time.

In conjunction with the Saturday presentations, the community art project “Boxes, Beings and Buying” will take place on Friday March 31 noon-8 PM at Greenspace (all are welcome, children welcome with an adult, all supplies will be provided).  The events are a part of an extensive series of April events on the topic of Space/Place, which will accompany “A Sense of Space and Place: Global and Local Identities: A 2nd Annual Interdisciplinary Conference,” scheduled to take place on April 6-8, 2017 at the University of the South.  The conference and associated events are co-organized by the Mellon Globalization Forum, International and Global Studies Program, and Office of Global Citizenship, and are sponsored by the Mellon Globalization Forum.

Download the full Conference Program: "A Sense of Space and Place: Global and Local Perspectives".

Brock Gordon's statement on “Domestics”:


“Domestics” is a series of paintings based on the rich tradition of iconography used in Persian rug design. The format of these paintings borrows from the color, geometry, and symmetry of Persian rugs, but their content is decidedly American.  Basketballs, tractors, and yachts enter a world of color fields, geometric shapes, and patterns that are created intuitively. This melding of cultural appropriation and modern cues comments on the many products available in the United States produced with blissful ignorance as to the cultures from which they steal identity and design. The pop sensibility of theses paintings at first glance belies layers of meaning within each painting as well as in how they relate to each other.  Each composition is inspired by the history of carpet design, but represents a modern American iconography created from mass-produced materials. The “Domestics” series offers a criticism of the long history of western appropriation of alternate cultural identities, while at the same time creating a modern iconography.


Brock Gordon is a painter from Greensboro, North Carolina currently living in Houston, Texas. After graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2007 with his BFA, he worked on farms in North Carolina, Ecuador, and upstate New York. He graduated from The University of Georgia in 2013 with his MFA, and has since continued his studio practice. His work has been exhibited in places such as Mint Gallery (Atlanta, Georgia), Archway Gallery (Houston, Texas), Green Hill Center for NC Art (Greensboro, North Carolina), The Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, Georgia), and Palazzo Vagnotti (Cortona, Italy). Gordon has taught Painting, Drawing, Art History, Design, Art Appreciation, and other classes at institutions such as The University of Georgia, Houston Community College, and Tx/Rx Labs in Houston. He was recently Visiting Assistant Professor in Art at The University of the South in the area of Painting and Drawing. He is currently teaching at Houston Community College and at Fusion Academy, a one-to-one high school, in the area of creative electives.

Pippa Browne's project statement on "BOXES, BEINGS AND BUYING":

My idea of an interpretive dance and a community "repurposing" art activity is inspired by the trend in online purchasing. According to Madeline Farber in her article "Consumers are doing most of their shopping online" (Fortune online magazine, June 8 2016), analytics firms are finding consumers are buying more things online than in stores with an increase of at least 4% in the last two years. This trend behooves a change in the place of purchasing as well as a change in how these goods enter into our lives, the form they take and the space they occupy.

The dance will draw attention to this on-line venue for purchasing as a place where there is reduced sensual information to facilitate decision making. Goods can only be looked at; parts of them may be magnified to understand their structure or material and subjective reviews can be studied, but the physical nature of the item can only be extrapolated. This extrapolation replaces the multi -sensing activity of regular purchasing and is an attempt to fill a vacuum created in the space between the viewing and encountering of the item. To convey this phenomena young dancers will be discussing the impact of this trend and will interpret it into choreography that reflects this discussion and the broader implications of this kind of technology inspired change.

As the place of purchasing has an impact on the activity of purchasing, so it does on the experience we have of our purchases on their delivery. Delivery not only gives us the object purchased but also an unbidden phenomena; the object that the purchase is conveyed in and that is the box. The arrival of a box in the home often carried with it an aura of excitement but as more goods are ordered online this relationship has changed especially since many mundane commodities are acquired this way. Whatever emotion the delivery of the goods evokes one things is ubiquitous; not only is there a new item to accommodate in the space we occupy but rearranging of this space, and the box, is necessary. Breaking down and recycling are the usual way of dealing with this but sometimes the box takes on a totally new purpose. It is this new purpose that we will be exploring in our community art activity. Participants will be encouraged to renegotiate the usual space a box occupies into something that inspires them whether it be two or three dimensional and these reconfigured objects will form the back drop and props to the dance project.


Browne was born and lived most of her life in Zimbabwe, Africa. In 1985,  she obtained a bachelor’s degree in fine art and psychology and post-graduate diploma in education from the University of Natal, South Africa. While she was teaching in Zimbabwe, her art was regularly selected for the Zimbabwean National Heritage exhibitions at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, and she participated in solo and group exhibitions in other galleries in Harare.  In 1995, Browne started illustrating children's books for the publisher Barefoot Books of Bath, UK. Between 1996 and 2000, her illustrations were selected for a number of international traveling exhibitions. Browne has shown her paintings in galleries in Salinas, CA., Memphis and Sewanee where she now lives.

Image info:
Brock Gordon
Rug Pusher, 2016
acrylic on canvas
75x60 inches

The conference “A Sense of Space and Place: Global and Local Identities” and associated events have been co-organized by the Mellon Globalization Forum, International and Global Studies Program, Office of Global Citizenship, and Sewanee Writers’ Conference. The organizing committee includes Justyna Beinek (International and Global Studies and Russian), Nicholas Roberts (History and International and Global Studies), Kelly Whitmer (History), and Scott Wilson (Politics). We extend special thanks to Sara Nimis, Print Services, Megan Roberts, and Helen Stapleton. Images in the conference materials courtesy of Pradip Malde and Brock Gordon. All events are free and open to the public.




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