The San Diego Art Institute is pleased to present “Memories from a Blackout” a solo project by Sheena Rae Dowling at SDAI Project Space in Horton Plaza. The opening reception will take place at the SDAI Project Space, 141 Horton Plaza, on Saturday, January 6 from 6pm-9pm. The exhibition will be open Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm-5pm and will run until Sunday, January 28.
“Memories from a Blackout” takes an intimate look at addiction and alcoholism, a disease which has affected the lives of millions of people. She treads on sensitive territory, revealing honestly the struggle and recovery process through her own personal narrative. Taking journal entries from her past, which she refers to as lost memories, she pieces together a portrait of fears and private insecurities. She hand embroiders excerpts of the writings with her own hair, a material that symbolically as well as literally contains records of those times. These texts along with paintings, altered found objects, and installations present a reconstruction of the painful and often isolating experience of substance abuse. While making allusions to the American Dream, consumerism, and pressures of compliance to the social norms, she humanizes a stigmatized disease by relating her internal struggles to universal pains that many people face when trying to find their place in the world.
Sheena Rae Dowling received her MFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and her BFA in Painting from San Diego State University. Her work employs multiple practices including painting, sculpture, and installation. She has shown her work throughout the United States and in Mexico. She currently has a piece in the San Diego International Airport as part of the Intergalactic Dreaming exhibition. She has recently been selected as an artist for neighborhood beautification projects in City Heights. She teaches art in City Heights to children and adults, including women who have experienced trauma, giving them tools that can be used as emotional coping mechanisms.
Part of the proceeds from this exhibition will help women in recovery from substance abuse.