By Maryevelyn Jones
For the past 17 years, Leilani Law has actively participated in Fayetteville’s art community. She teaches art. She placed art in group shows. She had solo shows in cafes. She once owned a gallery on Mountain Street called Vox Anima and facilitated shows of other artists.
During the month of May, Leilani is showing two series of paintings in an exhibit titled “Django.” According to Wikipedia, “django” is a Romani word meaning “I awake.” The two series are titled “Dream Awake” and “Enthronement.” This is a solo exhibition in the Revolver Gallery at the Fayetteville Underground, and it is her first solo exhibit in a Fayetteville gallery.
Half of Leilani’s “Dream Awake” images represent events in her life made into dream stories. She said other “Dream Awake” paintings “look through the other door” by representing dreams that become a story. Each painting contains objects and characters from personal experiences.
Leilani has no expectation of how a viewer would relate to these objects and characters. She simply brings stories to life by imagining them. She talked about being awakened by dreams and choosing to use them in life. She explores by questioning “Why does being awake have to be disconnected from a dream state in order to be reality?”
Her Enthronement series speaks to a celebration of being seated in a place of authority for the first time. Translucent figures awkwardly find their way to solid throne images, yet they remain unsettled. Who the female figures are isn’t important. Leilani just uses a female form to view enthronement because it relates to her female perspective. The figures could represent a universal anyone.
Leilani sees enthronement as an icon for using your gifts to take your metaphorical place. She described metaphorical enthronement as a process of “ruling your own life by the service of your inner divine.” She uses these paintings to investigate getting into your own throne in order to figure out your dreams. In her conclusion nobody else can tell you what your dreams are without you letting them.
In conjunction with her exhibit, Leilani will showcase her students’ work at the Fayetteville Underground in May.
Also opening new shows on May 6 at the Fayetteville Underground are Sabine Schmidt, photography; Christopher Mostyn, works on paper; and Ed Pennebaker, glassworks.