By Emmaline Rogers
Self-proclaimed "Lego Kid" Hamlett Dobbins and Peter Fleming are both local artists who've recently had show openings at the David Lusk Gallery. Fleming's is titled Preserved, while Mr. Dobbins' is called I Will Have to Tell You Everything. See how Mr. Dobbins and Mr. Flemming interpret their art, as well as their thought processes and work origins.
When I walked into the David Lusk Gallery, I was startled by the wide variety of Memphians who had turned out to come see the opening of Peter Fleming’s show Preserved and Hamlett Dobbins’ I Will Have to Tell You Everything.
The two shows that opened were very different. Mr. Dobbins’ works were colorful and vibrant paintings. Mr. Fleming’s work was entirely sculpture with splashes of color and different textures.
Mr. Dobbins utilized different patterns to unify his work, but each stood out with unique color and meaning. He tells of how he first started creating art, with a sparkle in his eye. When he was a kid he saw Star Wars in the movie theaters and couldn’t wait to get home to build everything from the movie out of his Legos. When he was older, he was working on his Master’s Thesis and used Legos to build a literal bridge between his ideas and the people who would be reading them to help himself concentrate. Mr. Dobbins uses his art to take apart a certain event in his life and wraps himself in it in order to better understand it. He calls himself the Lego kid.
In contrast, Peter Fleming’s workplace is ‘halfway between the future and the past.’ He first started making art from a desire to make the world a better place and the impulse to manipulate for the better. His favorite medium changes from one experience to the next, building upon each other to create something greater. In his work, he uses everything from 3D printed material to repurposed wood. He likes using contrast to manipulate imagery, such as hard versus soft. It takes anywhere from a week to a year for Mr. Fleming to create a piece; until the idea becomes tangible, it is not complete.
On a whole, the entire opening was enjoyable. It was wonderful to see all the people who care enough about art to give up an evening to stand around with a glass of wine admiring it. The sense of community was strong as people ducked through the rooms, recognizing each other and talking not just about the art but about themselves and the way each of them saw the pieces, which, in a way, is its own kind of art. It is the mark of a true artist to be able to draw people together like this, and both Peter Fleming and Hamlett Dobbins both succeeded. Both of their shows are up until the eighth of October at David Lusk Gallery.
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