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"Origin" by Caitlin Dickens
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"Cave 4" by Claire Bloomfield

Alternate worlds are on the minds of the three artists showcasing new works at the next ShapeShifter Gallery show.

ShapeShifter is a contemporary moving gallery that highlights forward-thinking artists who are helping to evolve Chattanooga's art scene. Shows take place in variant spaces throughout the city, with no chance for collecting dust. Viewings last a single evening before the gallery shifts into plans for the next show.

A key mission is "providing a new and affordable take on art collecting in our fine city," says spokeswoman Susan Fox in a news release.

The April show will take place Saturday at Inspire Chiropractic, 400 E. Main St., Suite 140B. The show and reception are scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. with the artists present.

"This show will explore alternate worlds and their inhabitants, rooted in reality but flirting with fantasy," says Fox.

The three local artists participating are Claire Bloomfield, Caitlin Dickens and Michael Largent.

For this show, Bloomfield has departed from her usual medium of photography and has produced drawings and paintings of "mystical worlds combining natural flora with the not so natural," Fox says.

Bloomfield says she derives much of the imagery in her works from nature, but with unexpected additions.

"I use natural and unnatural materials to create the imagery," she explains. "There's always kind of a toxic and organic combination of nature environments."

Her current project is a Cave series with imagery inspired by "caves and spaces and voids," she says.

"These images kind of have a 'maziness' to them, and then they were created with natural and unnatural materials. Some of them have dirt, plaster, wax, seashells. Just a little bit of collage and multimedia materials."

Dickens plays with the concept of macrocosm and microcosm in her "hue-saturated galaxies," Fox says.

On her website, Dickens says her work "encapsulates life by capturing emotion with the use of bold colors and organic forms."

"Each piece is an explosion of color that represents the human spirit and our surroundings. My work celebrates who we are at the core, our connection to the natural world and even forces which we sense but cannot see."

Fox says Largent will introduce viewers to electric polychromatic specters and the realms they inhabit.

Largent says the description is his approach to abstract and nonobjective photography, using common objects such as quilts or beads. He abstracts the images, runs them through filters and uses Photoshop techniques to reach the end result.

"I hesitate to call it a photograph," he says. "It starts as a photograph. It prints like a photograph. But it's not a photograph from where it starts to where it ends up.

"Part of my questioning in photography is does it have to be in focus, does it have to be representational, does it even have to be two-dimensional to be a photograph. I've been doing a lot of experimentation."

For more information, visit www.shapeshifterchattanooga.weebly.com.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

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