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March 12 - April 8, 2011

“You can stare into those places where the evening has pooled beneath the distant trees, and glimpse an ambiguous shifting of the darkness: something large, large and slow, its movements solemn and inevitable, heavy with clotted, sodden weed that forms its flesh. Its skeleton of tortured root creaks with each funereal pace, protesting at the damp and sullen weight. Within their sockets its eyes float like blood-poppies in puddles of ink.” - Saga of the Swamp Thing, 1984


Actual Size Los Angeles is pleased to announce Birthing Valley of the Blood Poppies, a group exhibition featuring new work by Christopher Miles, Adam D. Miller, Allison Schulnik and Nora Shields, curated by Adam D. Miller. The exhibition explores ideas of nature and identity alluded to in Alan Moore’s 1984 comic book series, Saga of the Swamp Thing. The artists participating in the exhibition engage with these concepts through a range of media.


Allan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing weaves a complex narrative, drawing from Gothic literature, mysticism, theology, mythology, and psychoanalysis. Moore creates a character that searches to understand his role in life, which is predicated upon the individual’s relationship to society and environment. The Swamp Thing is defined by what separates him from his own kind. The exhibition, Birthing Valley of the Blood Poppies, brings together four artists with practices that investigate the individual’s identity by a process of negation; the self as delineated and defined by it’s relationship to a larger community.


At the opening reception, a publication elaborating on themes within Birthing Valley of the Blood Poppies will be available in a limited edition of 300 copies. The covers are hand silk-screened. Contributing writers are Trinie Dalton, Adam D. Miller, Evan Calder Williams, and Gavin Williamson.


Christopher Miles completed his MFA at the School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California, and a BA at the College of Creative Studies. He is an artist, writer and curator. He has taught at multiple art schools and departments in Southern California. Miles serves as the Chair of the Department of Art at California State University, Long Beach.


Adam D. Miller received an MFA from Art Center College of Design in 2008 and a BA from California State University of Sacramento. Adam Miller has recently curated and exhibited work in The Night Goat Demands Reparations at the Pacific Design Center, 2010, In the Eyes of Lions at 533 Gallery, 2010, Banquet of the Black Jackal at the Luckman Gallery, 2011. Miller designs and publishes catalogs for the exhibitions he curates.


Allison Schulnik earned her BFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts. She has had solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Rome and London, and has exhibited in both visual arts shows and film screenings around the world. Her work can be seen in the public collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, KS, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA, The Chaney Family Collection, TX, Museé de Beaux Arts (Montreal) and the Laguna Art Museum, CA. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.


Nora Shields received her MFA from the Art Center College Of Design, Pasadena, Ca, 2010, a BA (HONS) in Art History, from University Of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and a BA in Art History and English Literature, from University Of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Shields is an artist and designer with a background in fashion and set design. She has shown work in a number of group exhibitions in Los Angeles, CA.

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