2018 BFA Exhibition: Thread
The 2018 BFA Exhibition features work from four graduating seniors. The pieces in this exhibition culminate a year of exploration into creative inquiry, professional practices, and ongoing studio work for Jeanette Chinelli, Ellen Kenston, Mikeala Michaelson and Ian Wagner. These four artists worked alongside Sarah Gjerston who served as their mentor through the BFA process. The Vicki Myhren Gallery is pleased to present Thread, and celebrate these four artists for receiving their Bachelors of Fine Arts.
For most people chairs are ubiquitous objects often taken for granted. When seeing a chair, one immediately comprehends it’s intended functionality: to accommodate the human form with measurable comfort. I am confronted daily by my interactions with chairs, which do not accommodate my own human form. My feet are left dangling and seats don’t quite fit. Thus, chairs have become symbols of discomfort, an irony given my deep appreciation for good design.
In this work, I wish to elevate the mundane image of the chair. Viewers are given an opportunity to ponder chairs’ deeper significance and relations to diverse human experiences. The chair as a subject also lends itself to ideas about presence and absence.
Special bonds between people can be hard to understand, but attempting to understand a bond between yourself and a family member you’ve never met can be even more challenging. For example, I have always wondered why I feel so strongly connected to my namesake, Ellen Marie Foster, my aunt, with whom I’ve been told I resemble and share personality traits. Ellen’s life ended unexpectedly in the place she loved most, the mountains. Although she passed away before I was born, my aunt has had a profound impact on my life. Through the gathering of photos, stories, family history and ideas about epigenetics and craft traditions, I am creating larger works about her, and highlighting important aspects of her personality. Through this work, I am examining why she is so important to me and hope to understand this connection more deeply.
Informed by my interests in psychology and social interactions, this work aims to bring to light ideas regarding human misinterpretation. This misinterpretation may occur through visual, verbal, and nonverbal means. Because the visual information the brain receives from the world around us is so vague, the brain makes many assumptions. This work is informed by how my brain initially perceived objects and experiences, and my own visual confounding of them. I hope the whimsy and hybrid forms present in this installation may stand as a metaphor for how these interactions and communications can be misunderstood.
My work combines traditional forms (wood joinery, polaroids) with contemporary practices (programmable LEDs, coding). These combinations symbolize an interpretation of time in which the past and future are interwoven, held together by the present. This interwoven interpretation of time suggests that the past and the future are not static. Instead, they reflect upon each other, changing with the fluctuations of our memories and our imaginations.