Charleston artist Taylor Faulkner said she hopes to create artwork that is “beautiful and also a little strange” | Photos by Rūta Smith

Taylor Faulkner’s whimsical pieces focusing on human form and movement are on display at the Public Works Art Center in Summerville until Dec. 30. 

“The show at Public Works is about imagination,” Faulkner said. “It’s about how fun it is to be able to get out anything that just pops into the ol’ noggin … I really wanted to just go for it, with lots of color and the best weirdo imaginary friends.”

Faulkner’s art features playful characters drawn in her signature style. Faulkner, who works with different mediums, often depicts anthropomorphic animals with elongated limbs and mischievous expressions seen skating or surfing. Other figures move off the paper and into the three-dimensional. In her last solo show, Animal Shred III, she featured sculptural elements including a giant shark head, as well as hydrocal sculptures of tentacles, fins, flippers and more.

“I’m thankful that I get inspiration from all over the place,” Faulkner said. “I love drawing people, and animals, so they are the ones that I pay attention to the most. Seeing little random things people do, or how they move or react to things … I should probably hang out at the airport more.”

Faulkner describes her practice as simultaneously “precise and scattered.”

“I like having my studio organized before I start, having all the materials in their place. Then I put some paper on the wall and get to it,” she said. “Because I work in a lot of different mediums, I hop around the studio a good bit, spending a couple hours on drawing, jumping over to sculpture, then heading on over to the print lab and pulling a couple screens.”

The artist started out working with dry media, including pencils, charcoal and soft pastels, but in recent years moved into sculptural work. 

“I worked in plaster for the past year as part of a construction company,” she said. “And I’ve been taking what I learned and pushing myself with the sculptural process. I’ve always been curious and so I will always be putting my foot in other mediums.”

Last year, Faulkner received the Griffith-Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year Grant. This $6,000 award is given to one visual artist each year to support the creation of a new work that represents unique aspects of the Lowcountry lifestyle, culture or environment.

“My statement for the grant was on showcasing surfing in the Lowcountry,” she said. “So I was able to travel a bit with some surf friends. I went to Wilmington, North Carolina, and Pawleys Island, South Carolina, but primarily focused on the Folly surf scene. I focused on large scale work, 38” x 50,” and highlighted the colors and style that only the Lowcountry has to offer. I spoke to Tim McManus, who owns Hed Hi, and he was down to let me have my show, Small Breaks Vol.2 there. That was a great time.”

You can follow Faulkner on Instagram @t.faulkner_art or visit her website Be Weird About It is on display Nov. 12-Dec. 30 at the Public Works Art Center in Summerville. An opening reception will be held from 5:30 to 8: 30 p.m. Nov. 17.

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