Gainesville Campus Art Exhibits
August 27 - September 24
Neighborhood Watch: Work by Bridget Mullen
Bridget Mullen lives and works in New York City. She earned a master's in fine arts in 2006, from Massachusetts College of Art, and a bachelor's in art education in 1999, from Drake University, Des Moines, IA. Mullen has participated in several residency programs including the Fine Arts Work Center, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and most recently the 2015 – 2016 Roswell Artist-In-Residence Program in New Mexico.
Bridget Mullen: "Coincidence, chaos, and chance are necessary in my process. Having no preconceived plan, I invite missteps. I work quickly, without censor, to capture myself at times fumbling and at times confident. Every action becomes a catalyst for reaction. I work free-associatively and deposit paint left on my brush to create incidental images. I deconstruct past work and collage fragments with new work to mutate the original meanings. I create images that trigger surprising associations whose layers of meaning are slow to unravel.
The freedom in my process is counterbalanced with the conceptual weight of the materials I use. I recognize the mortality in my work; my materials fade and older paintings are deconstructed to make something new. I often paint on surfaces with purposes other than for art making. I work my materials so they are nearly unnamable. White paint on tar paper ages to resemble stone, stones are painted to look like shoes, and the gradients created by spray paint waver between realistic references and acknowledging paint as a physical artifice.
The content of my work is found in the transformation of my materials and the narrative that is created in reconciling the recognizable with the ambiguous gestures. I leave ideas unfinished and unintegrated for the viewer to finish the thought. These moments create openings; my presence becomes visible and spurs a dialogue. The image of a screw in a painting composed primarily of rectangular shapes not only creates a formal opposition to the straight lines, it also humorously glorifies the everyday objects I used to hang the painting and it references a colloquial metaphor. Seeing the screw through the lens of each of these readings affects the way the viewer will see the rest of the painting, thus unfolding many meanings. How do we choose what to see? How do we move forward withstanding confusion?
These processes feel close to how we dream: subconsciously guiding ourselves through a seemingly confounding tangle of images toward a resonant truth."
Artist Talk & Reception: August 27, 2 p.m.
October 1 - November 5
Omphaloskepsis: Graphite Drawings by Hsiu Ching
Hsiu Ching currently lives in Tiawan. She was Ad Interim Instructor of Art at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she taught 2D Design and Color Theory, Drawing, Figure Drawing, and Screen Printing, until spring 2015. She was awarded the Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Teaching, Contribution, and Support to Students by Eta Phi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. in 2014. In summer 2014, she was invited as visiting professor of art, teaching Contemporary Drawing-Intercultural Dialogue at Xiamen University Department of Art, Xiamen, China. Hsiu Ching received her MFA from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2011.
Hsiu Ching: "The idea for my series, Omphaloskepsis, was to draw the circle of life, or stages of age, by using the navel as a subject. In conversation with the artist, Lester Van Winkle, I was introduced to the term, 'omphaloskepsis.' Omphaloskepsis comes from the Greek—omphalos (navel) + skepsis (act of looking, examination)—referring to excessive introspection, self-absorption, and/or concentration on a single issue. Omphaloskepsis is also called navel-gazing. The act of omphaloskepsis can lead to spiritual enlightenment in the same way that the process of drawing (perceiving and recording visual stimuli) can contribute to artistic enlightenment.
As I worked on this series, the whole idea shifted from employing the navel as subject matter for depicting the human life cycle to incorporating the concept of navel gazing into the activity of drawing. The challenge was to let go of 'Me' completely. Nomind, no-thingness, no-expression, and no-creativity allowed the real issue to became a striving for perfection and an understanding of 'when to release and let go.' The quality of awareness inherent in this manner of drawing is similar to the practice of Za-zen (the cross legged sitting position in Zen practice). In the Za-zen practice, one sits very still for extended periods of time. The subject, the object, and the mind are just one. Simplicity is the highest value in the Zen, but it is the most difficult to obtain. In Zen the medium is consciousness itself. This form of contemplation takes place while standing face to face with the object—with one’s self, in unwavering attention. Seeing-Drawing is 'a Way,' a discipline of deconditioning. Like Za-zen, it does not bestow enlightenment but allows the sanity of the original object to break through all the conditions of the 'Me,' so that one may touch the 'inner-most workings of life.'"
Artist Talk & Reception: October 1, 2 p.m.
November 19 - January 4, 2016
Long, Bright, World: an Installation by Amanda Small
Amanda Small: "My current work considers perceptions of the present moment and the remote cosmos to address how we relate with and respond to the environment, and to present new ways of looking at the world around us. Ontological inquiry is the origin of my reflections on the nature of our world as well as the existence of 'universes' parallel to our reality.
I am exploring the interval between the finite and infinitesimal, as well as humanity’s relationship to the universe. I create installations that combine mundane materials and ambiguous imagery that can be concurrently microscopic and stellar, conveying multiple dimensions and perspectives. I choose to consider each piece as an 'environment-system,' and part of a greater 'collection' or collective experience.
In this work, I reflect on ideas of multiple worlds and the unidentified zones situated between fiction and reality and how we experience the world around us in relation to our identity, both as an individual, and as a collective. The work symbolizes a view of the world as more vast and complex, more unpredictable and colorful, than what our comprehension, here and now, would let us know.
I am interested in the psychological connections made between tessellating patterns and symbols based on the implied meaning associated with collections of patterns, maps, and symbols. These thoughts were 'materialized' in the concept of infinity - described by the indefinite and complex nature of the physical world - as well as in the suggestion that a constant and eternal movement pre-exists in all things.
My work explores the relationship between physical place and intangible experience. It emphasizes the idea that movement is an intrinsic and permanent flux existing in all things, as well as being the sign and measure of space, and time, and memory. I use patterning, and symbology to point to an underlying interconnectedness and a shared structure.
By looking with curiosity at the landscape and merging rational and technological order with notions of beauty and the transcendental, I use technological methods to visualize aspects of the natural world, taking micro and macro views of the earth, cells, satellite mapping, topographies and systematic patterning and translate that information into installations that contemplate the meaning of 'home' or 'place.'"
Artist Talk & Reception: November 19, 2 p.m.