Monday, April 28, 2014

Hurray for Education

Blurring Boundaries - Elisabeth Smith

The 2014 graduating senior BFA students at Clemson University just had their exhibition and I was really impressed with the show.  It was a pleasure to walk around Lee Gallery and see the quality and breath of work that was on exhibit.  Congratulations to all the exhibitors and congratulations to the faculty who have given these students such a great start in their creative life.

Ivy - Elisabeth Smith

I could have written about any one of the artists in the show but I was very impressed with the photographs of Elisabeth Smith.  Every piece she presented had great concept and was beautifully photographed.  Think about it.  Each of these works required her to first, do an installation before getting out her camera.  In the case of Blurring Boundaries and Ivy, she had to construct the elements for her installation.  The chairs in Blurring Boundaries have surfaces that have been covered in a reflective material and for Ivy she sewed numerous artificial ivy leaves into a net which were used to cover the walls.  The Forest's Dining Room features an entire dining table with chairs and all the accouterments for dining placed outdoors in a wooded area. 

The Forest's Dining Room - Elisabeth Smith

I mention these specifics because to me not only do these activities demonstrate clear thinking but also the will and dedication to do what was necessary to take the photograph which expresses her idea.  

Here is Elisabeth's Artist Statement

My photographs analyze our relationship with nature; nature gives and we take. Once we find a likable landscape, we manipulate it to make room for our home. Establishing this landscape as the location our home and we reside, we continue manipulating surrounding nature, removing trees, cutting grass, killing weeds, maintaining a comfortable amount of nature we want in our lives. My photographs depict scenes and furnishings from the home in landscapes. In landscapes, these rooms and objects look comically out of place. This satirical approach highlights the extreme acts we can perform to make our lives comfortable at nature’s expense. Where we want to exist with our material objects is more important than what already exists in that spot. My photographs aim to pose the idea that our presence appears comically out of place in some areas because some areas do not benefit from our presence. 

Well done Elisabeth.  I hope you are headed to graduate school!

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