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April 18, 2014
Tina Miller, “Untitled,” mixed media, 24x7x7.
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Three of Eastern Oregon University’s graduating art majors are exhibiting their capstone work in Nightingale Gallery beginning Friday, April 25.
A reception for “Visceral Reflections” is from 6 to 8 opening night at the gallery in Loso Hall.
As a group, senior artists Tina Miller, Carrie Nelson and Danielle Stansberry explore the natural versus unnatural and the collaboration of the two with their works in ceramic, mixed media sculptures and digital prints.
Their pieces are personal and exploratory, diving into childhood memories, activities and inspirations. Fantastical elements can be seen in each piece, and through similar color palettes they defy and distort reality to their own visceral environment, reflecting on how the viewer interprets the surrounding world.
Miller’s sculptures are made from materials found through exploration. The idea brought her back to her roots on the farm where she has drawn inspiration for this body of work. What appears to most to be discarded junk is material Miller uses as the building blocks for her structural, organic, metal and wood sculpture. Displays of color may leave one wondering what was part of the pre-existing object and what aspects the artist has introduced.
Carrie Nelson, “Impediment,” digital print, 13×8.
Nelson’s digitally altered photographs of her landscape paintings examine terrain enveloped in the push-and-pull relationship between fantasy and reality. The landscape has been idealized through photography and painting, however in reality, it is wild and unconquerable.
Nelson amplifies the romantic ideal of the landscape using inspiration from the concept art of Disney animation and the stark, silhouetted foreground layer of shadow puppet animation. The work is self-referential, bringing in the viewer to the painted landscape, but the digitally added silhouette reminds them how reality doesn’t belong in this fantasized landscape. The silhouettes feature strange foliage and bizarre creatures that appear otherworldly and yet they shadow earth life. The result creates a dissonance between the viewer and their desire to be a part of what is behind the silhouette.
Danielle Stansberry, “Untitled,” ceramic sculpture, 9x10x7.
Stansberry’s ceramic sculptures are inspired by the inner workings of biological life forms and how they have evolved and developed to survive and thrive. She is interested in organisms’ ability to adapt to inhospitable environments, their reliance on community and the mechanisms they use for protection. To her, the symbiotic and parasitic relationships they have with each other, as well as their adaptations for survival, parallel between the psychological make-up and behavior in humans.
Stansberry’s sculptures are a mixture of these biological forms with fantasy referencing creatures at the microscopic level, as well as creatures that are larger – both aquatic and terrestrial. Using texture and color to convey the life and decay of these creatures, she creates forms that reflect individual interactions with and curiosities about the world.
See “Visceral Reflections” through May 9. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information visit www.eou.edu/art/nightingale-gallery or connect on Facebook.
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