Renee Malloy Ludlam is an artist, woodworker and writer based in Greenville and Savannah. She’s the senior experiential designer at Jack Porter Design and a graphic design professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She will debut a collection of mixed-media works at Grand Bohemian Gallery, 55 Wentworth St., at an opening ceremony from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday. The works will be on display until May 5. Ludlam spoke to Charleston Scene this week about her background and her new exhibit.
Q: What’s your signature style?
A: As a catalyst for the exploration of visual and psychological layers, my art blurs the lines of time, space and traditional mediums.
By juxtaposing disparate imagery in a single work through digital, hand-rendered and photographic creation, I reveal new meanings and relationships. This, in turn, allows for a metaphoric narrative to develop between the viewer and my work.
Q: How did you find your niche?
A: I have worked in nearly every media, from encaustic, to darkroom photography, to architectural drafting, to oil painting, to sculpture. At age 15, I took a digital class and fell in love with the possibilities. I began creating complex, detailed works using my own photography and drawings. I found my voice in mixed media. Though, no matter the tool, my process of story-building remains constant.
Q: What themes are you exploring in your work that will be displayed at the Grand Bohemian this month?
A: The sense of place and discovery is especially prominent in this collection, creating room for viewers to form their own stories. While you could argue each piece is autobiographical, weaving moments of my actual life together, each is open for multiple interpretations. I travel a lot, for business and pleasure, so much of my work is influenced by exploration.
Q: Do you have any recent achievements that you’re excited about?
A: As I am literally relocating my studio from Savannah to Greenville this week, I am looking forward to setting up and getting back to work. I’m hoping to have another show in Savannah this fall. I have a collection of photography from my recent trip to Alaska that is waiting for me.
Q: What do you think would be the ultimate compliment of your work?
A: In our day and age, time is a huge compliment. When someone stares at my works for the better part of an opening, I know I did something right, that he (or she) is having a moment of discovery. It always brightens my day when children and/or other artists feel inspired or empowered by my work.
Q: If you could choose anybody — living, dead or fictional — to be your mentor for a day, who would it be and why?
A: I would have to say Mahatma Gandhi because of his thoughtfulness, quiet leadership and generosity. When life is busy, it is easy to get lost in the rush of it all; perspective and selflessness can guide us back to living.