Humans are obsessed with categorization of objects and even people. Stereotypes are just one way this manifests itself. Humans are stereotyped into gender, class, race, and sexuality (just to name a few). These categorizations can cause a major disruption to society. Not only do I explore the way stereotypes effect society as a whole, but the way an individual functions as they are placing an receiving these labels.
In some of my sculptural pieces are interactive which, allows the viewer to take a larger role in the art piece. My work allow for my viewers to make choices in the art piece that will ultimately stereotype a person or an object. I do this to mirror the choices that happen in our day to day lives. This is in an effort to show that everyone is a part of the problem just as, collectively, we are a part of a solution.
Creating an environment and taking over a space is important to my work. Paula Scher does this with large typography and large fields of hand drawn maps. By taking over the space she strips the gallery of stigma. Therefore, when the viewer enters the space the environment will feel playful due to my use of intense colors and hands on objects. The Memphis Design Group influenced me greatly in this area. They make objects colorful and playful in there design so they would seem more approachable. My sculptures reflect this whether it is by using the intense orange I use on my graphic icons or the lime green used on the gestural hands. I used graphic design as a way to help my viewers investigate the space around them. I use typography and illustration in one sculpture as a way to evoke empathy and draw the viewer in.
In addition, graphic design is something people interact and see every day. Therefore, I am using it as a familiar language to help communicate to the viewers. For instance, I use icons which are familiar the average person. By using objects and symbols people are familiar with the art pieces will seem more familiar as well.
Bound by the “F” word;
This label of otherness is what consumes my work and has become an outlet for my personal frustrations with the world around me. These sculptures are a manifestation of my feelings as i’m shaped by and seen through “the male gaze.” This term is from Laura mulvey’s theory that proposes that the act of viewing women is as an object to satisfy a heterosexual masculine gaze. exaggerating and imprisoning my form, These objects draw attention to restrictions placed on me for just being female.
Through the visual language of my primary audience, millennials, I reflect on the immense amount of digital media that targets women, specifically telling them that they need to be more attractive. External stimuli like advertising images and my own experiences from day-to-day life provide the inspiration for these objects.
Some reactions I have received since I began to identify as an artist Include: Not enough, too much, white knight syndrome, quotes I hear replay in my mind over and over reminding me that everyone is watching. So I strive to generate awareness and a new perspective about how the objectification of women affects everyone, men included. I believe we can choose the degree to which We participate in systems of oppression. it is through art that a mirror is held up to society for us to see its true reflection in hopes of an awakening. This is the time for artists to be open and radical.
Above and Within
I am composing delicate forms in expansive spaces. These forms are present and responsive, like human figures existing in an atmosphere. The spaces of my paintings are tangible and subjective, almost as if to question whether the subjects in the space are truly alone.
The subjects that I compose in the atmospheres I create conjure memories and feelings based on their color, texture, posture, age, or aesthetic. As the expansive spaces created surround these delicate forms, I seek to convey a feeling of solitude and mystery as the vulnerable beings are embraced by the space around them. Some compositions contain cloth forms, while others depict objects that symbolize mortality or an emotional condition. I sculpt the cloth forms in a way that presents them as having expressions. As a result, they are theatrical in presentation and communicates a state of being, a figure existing in a moment.
The ethereal atmospheres in my works are a commonality in my pieces. Some are inspired from my evening drives; the sunsets and open space begin to inhale a deep breath. Some are darker, like quiet rooms where the presence of light still lingers. This psychological space considers the feeling of being in the care of a creator, a higher power. Like the objects and forms abiding within these painted atmospheres, we long for our imperfect conditions to be accepted and cherished. With my works, I seek to instill a sense of hope and provide a moment of safety and introspection for those who view my work.
My works conceptualize my experiences and weighted emotions. I find hope in the midst of lamentation and rest in moments of chaos. These states of being are an innate aspect of humanity. My work address our shared mortality, from our stories to our fading bodies. With this, I also hope to instill a sense of compassion. I become vulnerable for the sake of the unknown faces viewing my work in hopes that they may link their experiences with my paintings, and in turn have a moment of solitude themselves as they view these expansive spaces adoring the forms within them.
Human beings are creatures of habit. We often go through the same motions and activities day-to-day without even noticing the time spent on them. This behavior is frequently solidified through widely accepted practices as mundane as a daily reward on a mobile app or a discount at a restaurant after multiple purchases. Unfortunately, reoccurrence of this type can be unhealthy, leading to an excess of time spent on trivial things or maybe more spending than a budget might allow all for the sake of routine.
The same can be said of making. Craft is something that requires practice and repetition in order to become skilled. These actions can be done so many times that they become automatic, meditative, and even therapeutic. The hundreds of stitches put into a blanket or the carefully shaped jump rings making up a chain reflect the knowledge and enjoyment gained from the familiarity that comes with practice. However, if one should spend too much time wrapping wire to create those rings or attempt to make a queen sized blanket in one sitting, there would be a significant amount of discomfort at the least, or permanent damage at worst. The calming nature of automatic movement could become a painful compulsion, rather than the pleasant pastime it once was.
In my studio work I focus on the repetitive nature of craft and the careful balance that must be maintained between enjoyment and discomfort. The typically soft nature of handmade fabric is replicated with metal that appears as such, but with nearly none of the flexible properties it once had. The close-fitting, personal nature of these objects creates a metaphor for self-discovery, in the realization that what was once seen as comfortable and familiar has become something surprisingly restrictive.
In a digital world, things are assumed permanent, because there is no physical body to decay. The information exists as data, not tangible but encrypted and stored in a non-physical, worldwide card catalogue. As a counterpoint, our collective witness to the age of the immediate proves that when reduced to data, deletion or existence is dependent on relevance to the mainstream social sphere. By that sphere I refer to the top percentage of the most viewed and discussed content, the realm where the overlap of viewership creates an almost ubiquity of content across global and cultural divides. In this landscape, even though data may exist, among the swirling maelstrom of The New and The Now it becomes totally lost to anyone not specifically seeking it out. Effectively, it ceases to exist to any other than the ones bearing witness to absorb the information. Humans, then, become the tangible artifact of that information, wholly mortal and susceptible to data corruption over time. Yet, the process of discussion or dissemination of that information then creates a network equally intangible, but interacting with the world that humans experience and existing as several “backup saves” in the minds and conversations of those exposed to that information. People become the access points that persist beyond the life of the data by itself.
Through my work I parallel this process of storing information within people’s memory and in a way memorializing that which has been lost to the archive, often by drawing on my own feelings of discovery at the moment I began to uncover the information presented in the work. By creating physical objects that engage with the viewer to either consume or dispense information, that viewer becomes an artifact of that information and interaction. In this way I parallel the rhythm of give and take online, where content is consumed, digested and then remixed and re-presented through the unique experience of the individual. I can synthesize information online, form a question or a point of investigation then respond to it through building objects designed for interaction that emulates my own. Through use of readily accessible technology like QR codes or GPS tracking I can store information and manipulate it in the physical world, controlling how that information is experienced to make it more accessible and engaging to a physical viewer. This can exist as manipulating and revealing data within a video or as QR codes revealing the function of the object at hand by storing files to be accessed at will. The experience of discovery of the new or hidden becomes a motivating factor in my work, I want the moment to be a more complete and alive memory within the viewer, thus, a longer lasting save file. The information, then, becomes as much of an artistic decision as color, shape or design, and in equal measure I consider how each can lend itself to a more seamless interaction between the viewer and the content I’ve revealed through the work. Much like information surrendered to the internet, at this point the work leaves my hands, once the interaction is completed the viewer is the guardian of that experience. Within their own mind they make the decision to consume and forget or remember and re interpret, creating even more connections to the network of experiences around that work.
Ultimately that is my goal, to uncover and reveal things too quickly forgotten amidst the hailstorm of that which is most new in a preservation effort. The information that slips through the cracks I seek to pick up, piece back together and place back on the table for consideration. I feel a responsibility to bear active witness to the information that I consume and find important for others to know. My work becomes the medium to transfer this knowledge, to share what I’ve found both directly and indirectly, direct in that my hand shaped the work into its state and indirectly in that viewers are free to interpret that information in whatever way they please. This draws another parallel to the way we interact online, we post photos, videos, thoughts and feelings with the intention of sharing a moment, giving the feeling of being somewhere, experiencing something together, but often that facet of the experience is out of our control. You cannot control how others will react to your political post, your selfie, your essay or your recordings but the need to share drives us towards connection, and even in negative reaction to the information you share, people exist as the only physical remembrance of that moment.
Humans have a tendency to be self-absorbed; because of that we’ve evolved our ability to communicate to one another, in many different ways, more advanced than any other animal on the planet. Humans always express themselves to one another through the emotions they feel in a certain situation. One form of communication that seems universal for humans is the way we react emotionally to each other. Through the processes of printmaking, etching and lithography, I am expressing a certain situation I may experience myself but also connecting my own experience with others; making my viewers feel relatable and connected with me and each other through my art. Eva Hesse is an artist who also pulled emotional inspiration from her own life experiences to make her work; even though she was a sculpture, conceptually, she formed her ideas for her work the same as I do.
Etching allows me to use expressive mark making which helps me capture movement and emotions. The ability to capture fine details, makes the viewer want to look closer and observe the work longer; giving enough time for them feel a relatable emotion being expressed in the work. As well as, allowing me to transfer my drawings almost directly to the plate I’m using, thus allowing me to keep the drawing quality I like in my work. Etching allows me to use values, which is important with my work since I rarely use color but want to still get raw and juicy textures in my etchings.
Along the side of humans being self-absorbed and affecting one another with our own actions, both physically and emotionally, comes the human influence of Earth. This is where my focus lies in my other emphasis, metalsmithing. I pull my concept from the way humans treat the earth; modifying it to fit our needs while ignoring its needs to stay healthy. I collect both naturally made and human made object I find in natural and modify them with different metals to make an art piece.
Painting is the most appropriate for expressing the artist 's thoughts and the feelings. While thinking about what I could do with painting, I thought that I wanted to share my view with others through my own painting expression and method. In order to share the world I am looking at, I have wondered what is different between me and the people who are here now and the readers who will look at my work. I wanted to share the two visions I see as an international student because I think that the identity of foreign students who know the emotions and cultures of both Korea and the United States is different from others.
I am a foreign student and I see my view in two ways. One is when I look at my country, Korea and another is when I am a foreigner in the United States. When I look at the same place, what I feel in each country is really different. For example, in case of a bathtub in the bathroom, in Korea, home where I live, bathtub is wide and long enough to spread my legs straight. Bright lighting and clean space help me bathe in a comfortable mood. On the contrary, I am an international student in the United States and cannot live in a perfect house. Since I am living in a dormitory, bathtub in the bathroom is narrow and there is no space to stretch my legs. I can only shower in an old bathroom with dark lighting.
Not only the place, but also things come to me differently according to each country. In the case of fish, for example, when I am in Korea, I can eat fresh fish everywhere because the three sides of Korea are made up of sea. But the situation in the US is different. The United States is very large and I do not live in a state where the sea is next to it, so when I want to eat fish, I have to go to Walmart and eat only frozen fish.
These situations are the people who have not experienced the two countries do not know forever. That's why I started to express the scenes I feel as an international student. Unlike photographs, painting is suitable for expressing my emotions in more detail, so I choose to paint.
Tristan B. Miller Artist Statement We
I do not approach art making from a traditional angle. Other artist statements that i have written were constructed at a time where I was a completely different person, therefore, they were actually written by another person, a different me. I construct forms that bring myselves, and the viewer, closer to an understanding of what it means to be conscious and exist in relation to the natural universe. The objects themselves very in every sense of physicality depending on how the audience and I intend to utilise them. The nucleus of the work is how I act, and who I say I am, and the lives that all the other Tristan Miller’s have gone through up to that point in time. Together, my other selves have struggled with systemic entities, who utilise our knowledge of the universe. The purpose of my work is to bring the versions of me to one another, and learn from themselves more about the human experience throughout time and space. By having all of these versions of myself I am able to drastically change my work and my behavior to discuss topics when the desire arises. The experience is strange and alluring at the same time. Eventually human beings will be able to travel through time and space, at which point a person will encounter previous and alternate versions of themselves. I strive to create this world in my art, so that i can discuss existential motifs, surrounded by science and a relationship with the physical world, but in the present, through myself. The future I have described is inevitable, it is only a matter of when, to which my art answers, “now”. By having multiple versions of who i am i can discuss and analyse Tristan Miller as an idea, while my idea of who i am, and what it means to be alive, evolves. As far as addressing the physical art making I prefer to do that in ways that are not traditional, because the other versions of me are not all artists, and this gives me the opportunity to evolve the gallery and viewer experience. To me my work is a show, it's an induction into worlds unknown, a brief membership, one that is relatable, and human. Existence and evolution of consciousness, caused by a relationship with the physical universe, is one half of my work, while the other is performing in public with actual people. The audience learns just as much about themselves after each of my shows, as i do about myself.
The way I design is visually representative of the way I understand the world. Clean typography and strong layout are accented by texture, line and illustration to become understandable. There is no “because I said so” in my work, it all has a purpose and is meant to be calm, clear, and conscious of the viewer. To me rock climbing and graphic design are similar, both require focus, accuracy and awareness.
The architecture of an artificial wall is geometric and modern unlike the organic age-old beauty of a natural cliff. Zenvertigo is a climbing gym based in Anchorage, Alaska that visually merges the outdoor with the indoor by using modern typography and clean lines with organic textures and images. I used pieces of imagery around Anchorage to build the foundation of the brand; navy blue mimics the midnight sky, light greens reference Chugach State Park, round neon-style type signals the Aurora Borealis and the complex texture comes from the granite that creates Mount Denali. The logo is a response to the feeling of vertigo, moving vertically while being signaled directionally by the chevron symbol. David Carson’s experimental typography, strong dominant type from the late great Massimo Vignelli, and the incorporation of personality by Stefan Sagmeister helped to shape the foundation of the brand.
Human beings thrive on communication and strive to connect with others in many ways. In spite of our desires or best efforts, communication and connection sometimes falls short of perfect clarity. Our interpretation of a person’s nonverbal cues may fail to match what they are saying, and words left unspoken can create voids and barriers. I find significance in our miscommunications, misinterpretations, and our difficulty connecting with one another. This work explores how domestic objects can influence the dynamics of a conversation and are witness to our communication with one another.
My current body of work explores interpersonal communication and relationships represented through domestic objects. I seek to illustrate the way communication can change as it is transmitted from one person to another, and the voids created through the absence of words. This occurs most poignantly in our home lives, where clear communication is often most critical to our happiness.
Furniture also directs us to interact with others in a certain manner. The spatial arrangement of furniture may determine the flow of a conversation. When a conversation between two people shifts, the individuals either gravitate closer together or stay at a reasonable distance. These objects are stand-ins for ourselves. We are individuals with unique characteristics, just as any handmade object. No piece is exactly alike and has its own personality.
My art is an expansive pool of contrasting ideas formed by observation of the two cultures that have influenced who I am today. My art is about similarities and differences; of past times and of new experiences, of memories old and new. My art is about past and present surroundings that are cast in a different light, a new scope, by being filtered through personal expression. By spending time painting in my studio and by exploring subjects and characters from my life, near and far in order to artistically convey a moment in time.
Perceptions, receptions and misconceptions occur as my two cultures interact in clashing memories. The warmth of the tropical landscape, a starry night on a cloudless sky and the warm feeling of childhood dreams are complementary to the stillness of the summer days, colorful sunsets and changing seasons of the northern hemisphere. Through color and shape, I seek to narrow the path, the uncomfortable lapse between noise and silence, city and nature, openness and closeness as I express the essence of the whole on my canvas. Tension between figures, composition and color opens the door to my vulnerability, which most of the time aligns with the rewarding joy of a well spend time at the easel.
I took upon myself the old discipline of self portraits and in doing so I have found a new path for my figurative -representational art. Collage has been the catalyst to move my art forward in many positive and fulfilling venues. I am at the moment exploring new surfaces, textures, and techniques. By incorporating wood panels, canvas, silks, found materials, acrylics, dyes and oils in collage it has open new concepts and visual energy to my compositions as silk gives a new transparency that complements textures and enhances the dreamlike, imaginative aspect of my work.
In my work blue unifies human essence and its connection to earth. It is my favorite color in all shades and hues. The viewer will always find a saturated blue sky or a patch of blue in my paintings. Sometimes blue holds a story on its own, and perhaps my story will align with the viewer’s story.
Ana C. Traceski.
As an anxious kid, everything said or done could be distorted and inflated over time in my mind. Consequences of such small actions grew disproportionately in importance. I would focus my breath downward to avoid adding the resulting force to any destructive winds in the far distance. Pulling from this experience, I direct the viewer's’ attention to the small elements in painting that built up to create tension in a painting; the vague expectations and worries that interrupt the experience of space. The process is mainly working the surface of my paintings to set an explorable stage for the viewer to experience. While not immediately hostile, I integrate certain tensions and disruptors to make the subject matter quietly unsettling.
These paintings present natural subject matter alongside geometry suitable to the form, allowing hard edged forms to upset the flow of the painting’s surface. Each shape communicates with the viewer, telling them a story by setting tone, rather than through a narrative. Peter Doig’s artwork is able to encapsulate what these feelings of tense atmospheric storytelling were to me. Doig has this sense of tension in his paintings that is translated through this work, while still retaining that vague distant turmoil. Conceptual influences are derived from Angelina Gualdoni’s landscape forms. The subject of her work can take many forms, while the imagery of the work is concerned with emotion and atmosphere.
I focus on imagery that includes clouds or complex surfaces. Clouds being a symbol of constant change and uncontrollable movement, their physicality merges with my intent. The undulating, curving and rolling form of clouds provides me with a platform to work through complex visual ideas and refined forms that this subject endorses.
While working on this body of work, I’ve been learning that my anxiety over the potential of negative interpersonal interactions is not rooted in any sort of selflessness, but as a way of fighting change. By expressing these ideas as natural phenomenon, there is an acceptance of the difficult emotional processes these feelings represent in daily life. The idea isn’t so much that the paintings are answer to any big question so much as a discussion to be had.
As I walk through my every day, for as far back as I can recall, little phrases would repeat inside my head.
THE LEAVES ARE TURNED, IT’S GOING TO RAIN
A SMILE COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE
DON’T INVITE YOURSELF
Little lessons and facts passed on to me, most often words of my mother.
HOW WOULD THAT MAKE YOU FEEL
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY COULD BE GOING THROUGH
BAD PEOPLE CAN WEAR BRIGHT COLORS
FORGIVE AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS
TURN THE LIGHTS OFF WHEN YOU LEAVE A ROOM
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
YOU’RE THE OLDER SISTER, HE LOOKS UP TO YOU
THOSE WHO HAVE, SHOULD GIVE
like a mantra printed in the air with edges that softly bleed and fade away.
WORDS ARE LIKE SALT SPILT FROM A SHAKER
CAREFUL, WE ARE SPONGES
ONLY FIGHT IN DEFENSE
SHH, LISTEN TO THE FROGS AT NIGHT
These endless lessons, words, have always made me conscious, over-aware. Most especially of others and how I would—I might—affect them. And so I always tried my best to smile, to give, to—as my mother would say—‘be love’. But there’s a space between my young self and my current self. Separated by a gap I can’t quite place in my timeline, can’t quite describe. Maybe one set line doesn’t quite exist, but it seems to have nestled itself somewhere between my hopes and my actuality, to have become part of me while I wasn’t looking so closely.
I grew up in a small town, with a big church, with weekends filled with trips to see family an hour away. A mother raised by a family of police, and a father raised by teachers—something about how all these things mixed has made me often think on how we treat one another, has made empathy an ideal through which I filter most things. That desire for others and myself to know real empathy, sculpted my upbringing, still sculpts my concerns, and feeds my anxieties about myself and the communities of which I am apart.
It seems maybe I—we—all repeat the same harmful habituations. Personally, familially, nationally, globally. When I turn to myself, to those dearest to me, I see the truth of that. Through my drawings, sculpture, and writing, I work to better engage with the relationships I am part of, to look into them and pay them gentle attention. Through this, my work is a push and pull of illustration. A process of creating sculptural memorials to the relationships that I have neglected, paired with mark-making, documenting, the internal monologue that accompanies my doing so. All along I continue to collect little phrases, poetic words, short notes, drawing from them imagery that informs my work, through a growing system of personal symbolism. I bare my own body, my personal history, my internal voice, in hopes others will connect through their own. Poetic writings and readings, give context, and extend on the interaction I ask of others in some of my sculpture. I utilize performative and interactive means to create new communications between people. To highlight our disengaged intimacy, which we seek to supplement, often through limbs not of our own, but of the prosthetic of tele-technology which we like to keep so safely in our back pockets. Maybe my work only furthers this, but I hope it serves as a reminder of what we lack, together, so we can work to amend, as I am trying to amend.
For me, art is centered on shifting perspectives, the analysis of communication and the impact of art on our society. It is a reflection of a cultural collective consciousness; manifestations of a collection of beliefs and worldviews that function both as a time capsule and as a direct line into the world of ideas. I create work that is fundamentally founded in personal exploration and interpretation of the artwork at hand. Each piece is, in essence, a catalyst for discovery. For this reason I use a largely minimalist approach in creating objects that have a strong phenomenological presence and have any and all meaning compressed into openly-interpretable visual cues. Narrative is only determinable through heavy investigation of the piece, and even then is largely subjective. There is an emphasis on untranslatability; an inability to fully understand outside of personal experience and interpretation. While some preconceived meaning is inherited through the use of visual metaphor, the intuitive patterning of the metaphor is obscured due to its vagueness or the further layering of conflicting patterns. Furthermore, the context from which the iconography is drawn from varies greatly.
Whether it be literary and philosophical references or from TV and internet culture, all imagery is of equal of importance. They blend together creating a sense of unsure, uncomfortable half-familiarity. While the art itself is confounded and is relative to the viewer, that does not mean that it is meaningless. Meaning is instead inscribed by the context of the work from the spectator's perspective. This oscillation between investigation of predetermined meaning and objective non-meaning is meant to give the work a sense of sublime absurdity. The spectator is fully free to investigate and form their own opinions on what the work is and what it means, and, therefore, are entirely responsible for those beliefs.
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.
This exhibition, Code Craft is a web design firm that I created, that uses traditional advertising to promote their services and locations. Code Craft emphasizes the hands on craft of websites and connection to the local community through illustrative posters, booklets, and a client welcome package.
There are illustrations used throughout the website, posters, and booklet that creates a more hands-on feel than if photos were used in their place. The posters use a combination of photo realistic illustrations that catch the viewers eye, and a more organic illustration of a map that allows a resting place for the information about the brand. The colors are primarily cool, which communicates a calm and welcoming feeling that aids in the balance from the busy illustrations of the buildings. The combination of the color palette and vector illustrations create a mimic of the flat design of websites. The typeface used throughout the branding is Avenir Next, a sans-serif font that helps maintain the easy-going persona of Code Craft, and creates a connection to the current web world as sans-serif fonts are the most common fonts on the web. Throughout the website and booklet there is more white space being utilized since there is more content to display. The use of white space contributes to the calm and welcoming feeling that the posters also portrayed.
A few of the artists whose work inspires me currently are Kate Moross and Alex Estrada. Alex uses very clean and modern designs in her web work, and sticks to a simple color scheme throughout her work. Kate alternatively uses bright and popping colors with no specific color scheme to match her flowing bouncy style. I pull from both of these with a combination of bright popping colors, but a cleaner and more modern design overall.
In Pop-up Aesop, I connect traditional Aesop Fables to their moral lessons uniquely through sequential illustration, typographical technique, muted colors, textured material and handcraft. Aesop Fables are usually represented by a singular illustration, if any, but the application of multiple illustrations and pop-up techniques give the morals of the stories a new opportunity to connect with the material of the books and have a more lasting and meaningful effect for the viewer.
By reading to my daughter I have been re-exposed to children’s literature. Experiencing the enjoyment a book can bring a child has inspired me to create children’s books of my own. The Aesop Fables were a perfect choice for my books in the sense that there is no pre-developed imagery. These stories are very short, which can more easily keep a child’s attention, and provide meaningful moral lessons. I chose only to illustrate fables that were based off of animals to make the story relatable to all children. My animal characters are realistic in design however I took special care to give them friendly demeanors with fun expression.
This body of work consists of delicate handmade books that are comfortable to hold because of their scale, containing illustrations, hand drawn typography, patterns, and digital design. The illustrations emphasis key moments and ideas in the fables and provide a whimsical feeling to the imagery through layered pop-up and paper engineering techniques. The book covers are made livelier with screen-printed patterns and washed colors add texture and depth to the line based illustration style.
I have developed my pop up skills by studying Robert Sabuda’s techniques. My illustrative influence is E. H. Shepard, the original illustrator for Winnie the Pooh. Shepard’s style has affected my color choice and character development. Similar to Shephard’s illustrations I focus on line variation and simple details to describe a story through my characters.
Casey Hill | Altered Perceptions | Spring 2017
I look at seemingly normal or unattractive things which have colors or textures that intrigue me. In my work I focus on objects that are commonplace. My paintings then emphasize these points of interest and my own personal correlations to change the viewer’s experience of the object itself.
I find Rachel Whiteread’s work motivational due to her subject matter, commonplace items. Her representation of these items creates a sense of preciousness and a need for preservation. She allows the objects to stand as their own unique thing by creating plaster forms as a sort of preservation of the item. The viewer then is forced to confront these objects and question their importance and history. Similarly, I find Josephine Halvorson’s work inspirational due to the aspects she captures of common, everyday items that are. She renders these items in their natural environment, but by scaling her paintings so that only a part of the object is shown the viewer is forced to focus on something that might otherwise be overlooked. Halvorson often focuses on textures and smaller details, such as scratches or chips on the item depicted.
I create works that appears to be abstraction, but are not. By distorting a tangible object so that it is not immediately recognizable, I allow the viewer to see the painting without previous recognition, and thus any prejudice, of the thing that is depicted. Without this sense of recognition, the viewer then has more liberation in making their own associations with the work and can investigate it more freely. This allows the viewer to approach my works, allowing them to find their own personal associations to what I depict. I begin to play with the idea of the sublime within my work. The sublime is something that is beyond normal concepts of measurement. It’s an idea of grandeur that we can’t comprehend, such as the importance and beauty of ordinary items. By altering scale and using a traditional media I play with the relevance and importance of these items, thus bringing into question the sublime within the trivial.
My works have evolved from a simple abstraction based on scale into something else that takes on a life of its own, thus transforming my paintings from a depiction of a thing anew to myself allowing the viewer to see the painted representation as a new experience. While working on my paintings I have begun to include not just what is there, but what else could be there. This can include my thoughts or personal correlations. By doing so, my process allows the paintings to evolve on their own. With my work I have begun to encourage this more, from building additional textures and colors to allowing additional forms to work their way into the painting. I find Chuck Close’s work inspirational due to how he distorts his subject matter. Close uses a variety of color and organic shapes to create a distortion that, when viewed from up close, creates what appears to be an abstracted work that uses a variety of shapes and colors that would not be expected within an actual portrait.
By being open minded and considering objects on different levels, we begin to appreciate their uniqueness. My work relies on close attention to detail in order to encourage people to look closer and make observations of their own. I hope for others to realize that there is something beautiful to be found in items that are frequently overlooked. I play with the idea of the sublime within the trivial by altering scale and using a traditional media to depict beauty and importance of the items I reference.
Sara A. Hutson
Rock, Paper, Scissors is a set of graphic novels that I created while investigating and commenting on the abolishment of social boundaries for the sake of contributing to a greater cause. The viewer can witness three di erent triads as they explore the work. First is the trio of characters that the reader will follow through the novels. Each character is derived from each of the social classes. The next triad is the set of primary colors that the books are illustrated in. The colors are also tied to social class, and, while the characters are separate, will make up the palette of the illustrations. However, as the characters come together, the palette will extend to include the other primary colors, developing the world into something greater than when they were alone. This development of color is meant to reinforce the concept of the uniting of the characters, and building something stronger than what existed before.
The final triad is rock, paper and scissors. This familiar triad is one that is widely recognized as a beloved children’s game. This game only works when all three of the triad are present. Rock beats scissors, scissors cuts paper, and paper covers rock. Likewise, this greater existence is not possible without all three characters, or more clearly, all three classes working together.
I created the novels so that, when held, they feel like a childhood storybook. This, combined with the childhood game of rock paper scissors, is intended to connect to any viewer as we have hopefully all read a storybook, and hopefully played at least one round of this game.
I hope that through these novels I can communicate the bene ts of working together towards a common goal, rather than allowing our di erences to segregate us. My in uences include John Chad’s graphic novels. Their level of detail inspires me to create a more intricate environment for the characters and the reader to inter- act with. I also reference Lucian Bernhard’s contrast between bold typography and cell-shaded illustrations to give my novels a dramatic, but readable quality.
Trees symbolize growth, strength, and wisdom. Trees also have a function, and these organisms can record everything that happens around them and to them. Trees record a physical mark of growth and this linear record is physically beautiful and an inspiration for my current body of work. While interested in these states of physical being I researched the growth patterns found in different living beings. It became evident that growth patterns are actually more similar in trees, hair, and elevation levels. Each being on this earth is very different from the rest, but one thing that connects us all is the physical marks that show scars, aging, and growth. I use different patterns of growth for different beings to show how these physical marks can still be shown, and how closely humans relate to other organisms. Linear elements dominate my prints and woodworking. I use line to create a fluid composition combined with natural and neutral earth tone colors. I create rich and layered work to give my prints texture. Mark Schatz’s sculptures inspire me to think bigger, and use different materials to execute an idea. With this body of work I challenge my audience and myself to see the similarities in things that do not share the same physical structure
Amanda Kaler Combs
Artist books and boxes are intrinsically dualistic. They compel the viewer to interact in an intimate and revealing way; but at the same time the outer surface forms a protective barrier between the viewer and its contents. Through my work I attempt to reconcile two opposing aspects of my personality; the need to control my environment and my appreciation for unexpected outcomes. Artist books and boxes, via assemblages, become, in my work, a metaphor for cognitive dichotomy.
Drawing inspiration from assemblage artists like Paula MacGregor and Joseph Cornell, I explore the relationship between objects and their contents. I use cast-off fragments like bark, leaves, rocks, and animal remains in combination with living plants to allude to the cyclical nature and transformative quality of all living things. The natural elements I combine with found objects suggest an ambiguous narrative when they are removed from their usual context. This juxtaposition also represents for me the idea that opposing states of transformation and statis exist simultaneously; the natural elements symbolize a metamorphosis and the found objects represent stagnation.
Ideas of restriction and protection; and growth and stagnation have always interested me because I have impulses toward control which can be stifling. Dyeing and making paper, as well as the layering of an etching plate are meticulous processes that express my restrictive aspect, while the unpredictability of working with natural elements appeals to my mercurial side.
The contradictory formal and conceptual components coexisting in my work represent that we often experience two opposing conditions existing in a constant, rhythmic ebb and flow. I seek to communicate that ideas can conflict and coexist leading the viewer on a path of self-actualization, a resolution of inner duality.
Time doesn’t wait for anyone. It always changes the way you look at something, or the way it looks. This is something I learned from a young age, and have tried to battle against it in order to preserve memories I’ve made. I started out collecting family photos, then I moved on to taking my own, but as I got older I realized there is no real way to preserve a memory, it’s always changing. As years pass little moments are forgotten even physical relics from the past deteriorate and age with you. Because of this, I soon realized there’s no pure way to stay connected and felt saddened when looking back. It was like a layer of separation was formed between me and the memories. It’s a longing to connect to something, some person, some memory that is no longer present. This is what I’m interested in, the layer of separation felt from the past after time takes its course.
Since my work is inspired by my memories, I use photographs from my childhood, furniture to amplify the imagery of the home, fabrics and other relics from my past. By using materials strongly tied to my past the work becomes a reproduction of my memories. I create artificial stand-ins for things I’ve experienced like…
through installations set up to allude to the image of home. In doing this a weird inbetween atmosphere is created as the work resembles something familiar, something that could be found in a home, but each piece is altered in a way so that it doesn’t just mimic a home. This could be through the use of sound, video, or lighting to distort the way the piece is viewed.
This alter in reality helps to amplify the separation felt when trying to hold on to the past. By doing this I hope I can recreate this feeling. I hope the person viewing it might connect to this and reflect on their personal experiences.
Murray State University
My work emphasizes a lack of presence through empty spaces and discarded objects. This emptiness combined with the use of domestic imagery implies a lost or forgotten narrative. The content of my work deals with thoughts on mortality, the passage of time, and the strength to overcome obstacles. In addition, my work focuses on nostalgia and sentiment, remembered by ordinary objects and structures. I am inspired by Albrecht Dürer and Beatrix Potter for their use of line, attention to detail, and their realistic art style.
Etching and ink on paper are my chosen mediums because they give my work a soft rendering quality. I am able to procure rich values and strong lines that resonate a sense of foreboding. The spaces I create have a dream-like quality which makes my pieces eerie and uncanny. I purposefully limit color in my work to represent a time that is quiet, serene, and in the past. My scale, use of line, and value emphasize a quiet and serene atmosphere.
My current work is about identical lessons learned by separate people from different personal experiences. Interviews with friends and family are conducted to identify a lesson both me and the subject of the interview have learned and combine the separate experiences into one story. Because the story exists in a place beyond any one human character, they are transformed into animal fables, which are then illustrated with print based installations.
The stories are built around what the interviewee would most like to teach to someone younger. The fables exist in a world where these lessons become established as rules in nature. I’m looking at artists like Joanna Mueller, who uses animal and ancient North American myth symbolism to achieve a narrative-like effect, and Anne Hamilton who uses installation and print multiples to create immersive experiences. The media and style of each print installation is entirely dependent on the fable. The prints range from black and white linoleum cuts, to soft and colorful lithographs, and the installations range from to little wooden boxes filled with dozens of small monoprints, to wearable books on live models.
Design elements are incorporated to give the show cohesiveness by unifying the different stylistic aspects of the separate works with a common visual narrative. A series of posters accompany the works of the show, identifying the title of each story and installation and matching it with a unique icon displayed near each piece in vinyl. In addition to the posters there are small hand-bound books identified by each fable’s icon; each book contains a written fable laid out with experimental type and minimal graphics. The show gives the viewer a sense of discovery as they move through the fables via illustrative prints, books, and installations.
Compositionally I focus on the use of texture, found objects, and color to create a painting language, that includes, but is not solely centered around subject matter in a way that invites the viewer to a conversation. Conceptually I am interested in relating living and nonliving forms to common experiences of existence. The experiential ideas I explore include deterioration, awareness of self, chaos, and conspiratorial characteristics of our culture. I combine varying media to communicate these subjects in an abstracted ethereal manner.
Nature and it’s connection to the the human spirit influences my use of nature-forms and man-made items. These objects work together with other media to draw out a specific connection or emotion from the viewer. Historically I am attracted to the way the artists of the Expressionist movement radically distorted subjects for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas of their own. Contemporary Artists Pat Steir and Seth Apter also influence the way I use color, texture and found objects. Mixing media provides a sense of exploration and freedom which gives me a chance to express myself in such a flexible, varied, and creative way.
I challenge myself to solve chaos, plan, and improvise daily. I combine a sense of control and intuition to manipulate paint and other media using varying methods and building on old techniques as I go. Studying the artists’ work that I admire gives me inspiration to create expressive compositions in this manner. I begin with a broad compositional idea that continuously evolves as I make. The abstract compositions I create are further emphasized through hidden imagery, varying texture, and color that make up the dialogue between my materials and concept.
This expression of myself through painting and sculpture creates a broadened platform for me to communicate my thoughts and experiences. We are products of our environment. What makes up my environment spills over into my work to start a conversation about awareness of self, chaos, deterioration, and conspiratorial characteristics of our culture. These concepts are constantly in my mind and have an effect on all of our lives. To recognize the way these things effect us helps me gain a stronger understanding and control of my own state of being.
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