Wholly Integrated | Zoe Beaudry
Exhibition & Events
September 1 - October 21, 2023
Reception: Thursday, September 14, 2023, from 5 - 7 PM
Zoe is the recipient of the Elizabeth Charles Award.
Elizabeth Charles believed in the arts as a vehicle for self-expression and as a means to develop a deeper understanding of our humanity. As a student, Elizabeth actively championed human equity and diversity. In 2020, the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center and Elizabeth's father, Norm Charles, established the fund in her honor. Funding is provided by Norm Charles, Phyllis Mellon, as well as additional funders who seek to continue her championship by supporting Michigan artists and amplifying their voices through monetary awards and promotions. Preference is given to artists with a vision for or emphasis on enhancing awareness and equity across race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ethnicity.
“Wholly Integrated” is a painting and sound exhibition that explores gestation, birth, and the Buddhist concepts of death and rebirth through photorealistic figuration and surreal, symbolic imagery. The title is inspired by an interview with my mother about her experience of giving birth (sound clip available in the gallery and below).
Conception, gestation, and birth–literally and metaphorically–represent moments when the boundaries between the individual and their surroundings dissolve. The individual identity is fractured to let something new in, which can grow and change and develop into something entirely different. We are the most embodied version of ourselves in these moments of generative merging; whether creating new life or simply looking up from our screens and into the eyes of another human being.
As IRL interaction becomes less necessary for human flourishing, being together in person becomes more of a brave, sometimes even luxurious, risk. I emphasize embodied presence and human connection as vital for personal and societal well-being and represent the body as a potential site for revolution.