Brandi Twilley and Binod Shreshtha display religious themes in paint, mixed media 

Brandi Twilley and Binod Shreshtha
Wednesday-Saturday, through Feb. 6
Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) Gallery
706 W. Sheridan
232-6060 or www.iaogallery.org.

Systems of faith swing from the extreme of religious cults to the beauty of a simple ritual.

Inspired by those opposites are Brandi Twilley and Binod Shreshtha, both exhibiting at the Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery.

Twilley, who is from Oklahoma City, uses portraiture to explore oppression in Mormon fundamentalism.

"It comes from the FLDS cult in Texas that was raided in April 2008," she said. "I was interested in the women's appearances because they had these crazy hairdos and were wearing these prairie dresses that they sewed themselves. They didn't groom themselves the same as other people."

While initially drawn by their appearance, she moved into their emotional states as she learned about life in the polygamist community.

"I was thinking about how I would feel or be thinking if I was in that situation," she said. "In the red dress portraits, they're rebelling by letting their hair down from that same uniform and hairdo, breaking loose from their normal strange way that they have to be all the time."

This is the first Oklahoma exhibit for Shreshtha, originally from Nepal. His installations channel solitude and the rhythm of meditation, using rituals to bring memories of the past to the present.

"My works are the result of osmosis of accumulative experiences," he said. "Some are direct and personal and others indirect and collective. These experiences inform the notion of body and the system in which the body must reside."

Although trained as a painter, he's used dirt, red wine, barbed wire and his own blood in work. His IAO installation of salt, fabric and thread is accented with a striking red like that found in fresh wounds.

The exhibit shows through Feb. 6 at the IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan. For more information, call 232-6060 or visit www.iaogallery.org. "?Allison Meier

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