An event every week that begins at on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, repeating until October 18
“The Murder Ballads”
An exhibition of paintings by Julyan Davis
There is a long tradition in Appalachian music of songs of love, loss, and tragedy. Their history goes back to the English, Scottish, and Irish songs that came with early settlers. Many were stories of innocence lost, often with tragic results, and these became known as murder ballads.
British-born artist Julyan Davis felt a strong kinship with American murder ballads. He inherited his enthusiasm for traditional folk songs from his father and his Celtic heritage. Shortly after graduating from the Byam Shaw School of Art in London in 1988, he came to the American south on a painting trip that has now lasted over 30 years. Since then, he has created several series of artworks based on his experiences. They include “Demopolis”, about a doomed colony of French settlers in Alabama, “The Mermaid Storm”, about an antebellum Low Country myth, and several series of evocative paintings of abandoned interiors, old buildings, and the human impact on the deep south landscape.
Davis’ “Murder Ballads” series takes traditional Appalachian songs and makes them visible. Rather than merely illustrate the story, the paintings take the story’s spirit. His artworks are a parallel effort to the song, a different way of telling a part of the story. Davis’ grounding in the traditions of oil painting provide a strong foundation for the storytelling elements.
“The Murder Ballads” exhibition will be open from Wednesday, September 25, through Saturday, October 19 (Homecoming). There will be a reception on Wednesday, October 2, 6-8 pm. “The Murder Ballads” exhibition will coincide with the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival on Saturday, October 5. Davis will lead a gallery talk on Tuesday, Oct 8, 1-4 pm, that includes Joe Penland, Mountain Bitters, Greg Speas, and writer Richard H. Underwood, author of ‘Crimesong’ , who will be traveling over from Lexington, KY for the day. Weizenblatt Gallery is open 10-4, Monday through Friday, and admission is always free.
For more information, contact Skip Rohde at.