2023 FOCUS Elusive Worlds

February 28 – April 1, 2023

This exhibition features work by Justin Rothshank and Heinrich Toh; two artists who use layered imagery to evoke elusive worlds full of memory and longing.

Click here to view and purchase work from Elusive Worlds on the online SHOP.

Work purchased online from this exhibition will be shipped following the exhibition’s closing date, April 1, 2023. 

Justin Rothshank’s functional ceramics combine custom-made metallic luster and floral decals, particularly a ubiquitous red poppy, with atmospheric, wood-fired surfaces. The result is a collection of eccentrically dreamy mugs, bowls, and vases that reflect Rothshank’s interest in both the natural environment where he lives and the larger social justice movements of his surrounding world. Through imagery, form, and surface, Rothshank’s ceramics capture the beauty, energy, fuel, and resources provided by his Indiana land. Deadfall wood is harvested to fire his kilns, and the surfaces are decorated with ash and flame created within the kiln during the firing process. The poppy flower represents remembrance and honor for those who have served, the artist’s opposition to war, and his interest in working towards positive social change through relationship building.

Click here to view more work by Justin Rothshank.

Heinrich Toh’s unique works on paper synthesize multiple printmaking techniques into a single image. Monotype, paper-lithography, and collagraph processes are combined to create images that explore the complexities of travel, displacement, and longing. Originally from Singapore, Toh produces works that blur the boundaries between Western and Eastern cultures. His rich layers of color, abstract patterning, and representational imagery combine modern and traditional imagery with overlapping cultural elements. The floral imagery is derived from silk brocade and sarong fabric from his Perankan heritage, while the tree lines, taken from National Parks, underscore the definition of ‘home’ here in the United States.

Click here to view more work by Heinrich Toh.


gallery@penland.org  |  828.765.6211  |  Tuesday – Saturday 11 AM – 5 PM