Name of Exhibition

The Things I Tell Myself

Author/Artist Name

Troian CummingsFollow

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Academic Level at Time of Creation

Senior

Date of Creation

Fall 2017

Artist Statement

Internal struggles and emotions govern my work; concepts of comfort, discomfort, and shared human perception are explored. My work is a physical metaphor of the struggles, self-protection, and vulnerabilities that we, as humans, collectively experience.

The making practice is a natural growth process; spontaneous and almost meditative in nature. The pieces start as fairly loose plans and evolve and mature as each project proceeds. Media is selected based on initial understanding of what the piece will be and adjustments are made if the idea naturally changes. In the jewelry, organic elements (like living/dead plants) and their natural defenses (like spikes/thorns) are employed, as well as colors that are fundamentally perceived as acidic or poisonous, to emulate the elegance and power of nature’s imperfect perfection. The ceramic work is much more abstract. Through metaphorical bodies, ideals of beauty and body image are explored. Each vessel is unique, just like each person is. The shape is spontaneous; never planned, and always based on the vessel that was thrown. The inside of these vessels are glazed in comforting colors and the folds of porcelain become sensual in the holder’s hands. When the two media are combined, they are in a symbiotic relationship. The metal is supportive, structural. The ceramic provides mass dominance, almost like a gemstone.

The work evokes primal feelings, like heightened anxiety or the feeling of needing to protect something. In the same way Rebecca Horn’s performances draw on a crowd's energy, the viewer/wearer of my work should feel a sense of tension, comfort, and slight disturbance-all at once, in some cases. The jewelry is a sort of protection or armor and also a place to store my vulnerabilities. Viewers should feel connected and have the desire to touch these pieces. I hope to develop a dialogue that encourages people to question their surroundings and feel the need to become more self-aware.

Advisor/Mentor

Jeanne Beaver; John Utgaard; Sarah Martin; Sarah Gutwirth; T. Michael Martin

Description

This exhibition is centered on themes of internal struggles and shared human emotions. The mediums included sterling silver, copper, brass, porcelain, leather, living and dead plants, and scratch-through paper. The pieces are visual metaphors for concepts such as the feeling of being overwhelmed or of holding your tongue even when you really want to say something. The show consisted of eleven jewelry and ceramic pieces.

Photo Credit

Taylor McCord and Myself, Troian Cummings

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

The Things I Tell Myself

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