Gazing Pond Chamber & detail, gouache on paper, 8 x 18′, 2018
Bev Pike is known for her monumentally-scaled, performative landform paintings. Painted with gouache on paper, Pike’s works stretch from floor to ceiling and are no less than eighteen feet in length, enveloping the viewer. Pike’s most recent series, Underground Living, depicts strange underground grottos and caves, lush with baroque detailing. Evocative titles like Cavernous Sun Parlour, Buried Dancing Pavilion, and Subterranean Day Spa suggest that these spaces comprise the leisure sites of a new underground civilization. They invite the viewer to psychically and performatively inhabit while imagining the circumstances that may necessitated a move underground. In neoclassical fashion, these science-fictional spaces reference architectural forms of the past, particularly English gardens, castles, and concert halls, but instead of soaring upward, evoke the interiority of the body.