Aloe Corry and Peter Everett, Department of Art
My exhibition, titled Out of Order, was a series of paintings and two-dimensional artworks that explored the idea of dislocation that can occur physically, mentally, and culturally. Feelings of dislocation come most often to me as I move from a space I am comfortable in to a space that I have not yet encountered, especially when I am exposed to new ideas, images, and experience. However, one of the fastest ways for me to encounter dislocation is through travel. Because of this, I decided to create most of the works for this exhibition, Out of Order, during and after a study abroad in Morocco and Spain in the spring of 2016. As I traveled through these countries with the Art Department, I gathered new visual and conceptual material that I integrated into my paintings and collages.
Most of my works for Out of Order were painted as I traveled through Morocco and Spain in the summer of 2016. Because I knew I would be constantly on the move during this time period, I decided to paint on gessoed sheets of paper, at a size that I could easily transport with me as I moved from city to city. I used oil paints, which I love because of their historical connection to figurative painting and the incredible elasticity of the medium. My paintings were built up through multiple layers, beginning with the smooth surface of the gessoed paper and coming to their conclusion as multi-textured spaces. As well as new ideas I had been exposed to through my travels and visual material previously collected, I incorporated fragments of the faces of those traveling with me into the environments I constructed. Many of my paintings were inspired from my experiences with the intricate interiors of buildings in Morocco in relation to their often plain exteriors, labyrinths, as well as the feeling of visual overload that can come when one is faced with an abundance of new aesthetics. Others were were an investigation into objects of veneration, the senses, and feelings of detachment. When I returned from Spain and Morocco, I completed several other artworks related to the series I had finished while traveling. These were on a larger scale and painted on wooden panels.
The result of my work, the exhibition Out of Order, was on view in the Gallery 303 Foyer of the HFAC from October 17th to October 27th, 2016. The show comprised over 17 works of art and formed the capstone to my BFA as well as my Honors thesis.
The more I’ve traveled, the more interested I’ve become in the idea of “dislocation,” which can be defined as the disruption of an established order or the physical sensation of having something pushed out of place. The presence of dislocation—especially from travel, the creation of new systems, or forced relocation—often involves a form of separation from the familiar; a breaking apart or destruction of what one might perceive as “normal” or “usual.” My experiences with travel and dislocation have formed the bedrock of my BFA final show, Out of Order. This show is comprised of a group of paintings, collages, and drawings that touch on this uncanny feeling. I am drawn to the uneasy line between the familiar and the unfamiliar, and many of my works serve as visual maps of dislocation: relics or remnants of the passage.
Feelings of dislocation come most often to me as I move from a space I am comfortable in to a space that I have not yet encountered, especially when I am exposed to new ideas, images, and experience. However, one of the fastest ways for me to encounter dislocation is through travel. Travel can include transporting oneself great distances, changes in time zones, shifts in climate and geography, exhaustion, difficulty in communication, as well as the experience of being contained in a small space (such as a car, train, or plane) for extended amounts of time. I am interested in the psychological response that can accompany these physical changes. While travel is often stressful and difficult, I have found that the altered, in-between state that it can cause is a fascinating space.
I am fascinated with the concept of representation in artwork. Much of my own work is rooted in illusionary representation, in imitation of the real. In my art practice, I am particularly captivated by the human figure. I am interested in the ramifications of splintering, reforming, and repeating aspects of the human form, and what that does conceptually, and aesthetically. How does the human mind deal with body disassociation, or the idea of phantom limbs? What happens when the fragments of place and person come together? I am drawn to the multiplicity of movement or parts that can be found in our collective experience, landscapes and bodies, and this manifests itself in repetition and distortion throughout my pieces. I’m currently investigating architectural spaces, alienation, improbable situations, and memory. What are the pieces of ourselves that we leave behind, and what are the pieces that we carry with us? What precipitates a fear of leaving the familiar?
Overall, I am satisfied with the result of this show. It was the first time I have had the opportunity to showcase a substantial body of work, and I learned a lot from the experience. If I were to do the show over again, there are some works that I might reconsider, and some that I would want to spend more time building up before placing them on the walls. However, I feel that this show has marked the climax of my work so far and helped me to better perceive the directions I want to take with my artwork in the future. This show will only be the first of many. I’m excited to take what I have learned from my mentor Peter Everett and my ORCA grant at Brigham Young University and use it to propel myself toward new opportunities an increasing body of work.