Lucy Louise Derickson
For the past semester I have been working on a series of surrogate devices that provoke memory and act as a prosthetic for personal relationships. These devices activate memories by engaging the senses, particularly the sense of smell. I am identifying specific people by their habits, for example my mother using certain dryer sheets, or my father's choice in cough drop flavor, and calling attention to the human proclivity to reconstitute personal interaction through machines.
I have collected, recorded and dissolved the memories of the closest friendship I ever experienced. These memories are particularly precious because they represent a time and a relationship that can no longer exist. Chronic illness, drug abuse and psychosis have taken a drastic toll, changing everything. The memories are now completely unaligned with the person and the current status of the relationship. By capturing the process of dissolution I am constructing a visual representation of this tragic anomaly in an attempt to deepen my understanding of these events and to discover a way in which I can lay the past to rest in order to accept the present.
We are all story tellers. It is the stories that we choose to tell that define how others perceive us. We can protect ourselves by telling stories, or by only telling parts of stories. In this way stories can be powerful tools. They can be used for protection, but they can just as easily be used to belittle and diminish. It’s easy to take a fraction of a story, build it up with embellishments, and present it as the truth. At a certain point it doesn’t matter what has actually happened, what matters is what people believe has happened.
Story can be a way to find understanding in difficult situations. Complex events are easier to deal with when put in a fanciful context. Suddenly situations that are riddled with gray areas become clear cut black and white. For me it starts with a memory, relived and retold to myself over the course of many sleepless nights. Relived so many times that it has become more of a story than a memory; Retold so many times that the real people have become caricatures of themselves. What started as a memory turns into a story which then exists as a personal mythology. But what happens when these distorted memories get pulled back into reality?
By making this series of helmets I am taking the characters from some of my own mythologies out of my head and asking them to live in the same world with the people that inspired them. In this way I can get inside each character's head and try to understand my own memories from their perspective. I wonder how relationships and memories change when seen through multiple perspectives. Does this make a memory more accurate, more true, or more confusing? Is it even possible to understand someone else's perspective?
Bio: Born in Minnesota, possibly 40 or 400 years too late, Evan grew up in the Phoenix desert. At 18 he lived in Berlin for several years before being confused by art. At which point he devoted himself to this confusion.
"The biggest problem with communication, is believing it ever happened."
In order to communicate we must make assumptions. We assume we are using the same language, grammar, definitions, and context. Everybody makes slightly different assumptions, and in trying to define our assumptions in order to communicate more effectively, we make even more assumptions. These assumptions bridge the ever-present gap that language cannot. With the use of cyclical self-reflecting systems, my work is pointing at and sculpting this gap.
By recalling childhood memories and applying psychological analysis of child development, time and lives overlap in my work. When I retrieve memories from my childhood, they become altered, affected by the time that has passed and the stress of childhood. My memories while some vivid, others are not complete containing gaps. Certain memories I recall every day, a fixation on these moments has developed.
Using primarily clay and wood, I craft irregular, fictional forms as well as angular, realistic components. Clay has a permanence after it has been fired, I relate this event to times in life in which one is changed and cannot return to a previous state. I use white to emphasize coldness and to symbolize childhood innocence or the loss of. The psychological analysis, my personal experiences, and the recognizable objects create a layered surreal diorama.
Amber was born in 1987 in Redlands, California. She grew up there until moving to Long Beach, California to earn her B.F.A degree from California State University: Long Beach. She continued her studies there after graduation as a post baccalaureate. Currently she lives in Richmond and is a M.F.A candidate in the Clay area.
Through the use of singular, pattern-producing gestures, I am able to explore movement, light, and translucency. My work is deceptively simple and minimalistic in content, but begs the viewer to be patient and consider what is happening. I make art that confronts visual manipulations, either false or true.
My fascination with visual manipulations stems from my own childhood phantoms of circles and dots that would undulate and pulse behind my eyelids. While I no longer see these specific patterns, it continues to drive my obsessive and relentless need to recall and reproduce them.
Christopher David White
That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. It is the ordinary state of affairs. Everything is in process. Everything-– every tree, every blade of grass, all the animals, insects, human beings, buildings, the animate and the inanimate--is always changing, moment to moment.
With nature undergoing a perpetual transformation, everything derived from nature is subject to the same repetitive cycle of growth and decay--of life and death. Change is a constant reminder that permanence is the ultimate illusion. It is through the creation of hyper-realistic sculpture that I explore the relationship between nature, man, and the phenomenon of impermanence. I seek to expose the beauty that often results from decay while, at the same time, making my viewer question their own perception of the world around them. To accomplish this, I begin by observing instances of decay within my surroundings that I find inspiring due to form, color, or texture. With clay as my medium of choice I then meticulously render by hand those elements, taking advantage of clay’s innate ability to mimic a wide variety of materials. I utilize trompe l’oeil as a stylistic choice to enforce the concept illusion. The juxtaposition of natural and man-made features in combination with the skewing of scale, proportion, and material, helps create an altered perception – forcing the viewer to look closer.
Going about our daily lives, we rarely notice nor appreciate each unique experience our surroundings offer. For me, there is a peace that can be found in even the simplest things. Ordinary elements within our environments offer both visual and physical reminders of our connection with nature. I am inspired by the small, overlooked aspects of our environment, finding enjoyment in the unexpected discoveries that come from simply being observant of the minutia and incorporating those mundane forms into my work. In my observations I also see similarities between the processes that occur in nature and those that drive us. By combining both human and natural elements within my work I hope to highlight the fact that we are not separate from nature but are, in fact, part of it.
April 25 - May 18, 2014
Where Words Are Not Enough
VCU MFA Craft/Material Studies Candidacy Exhibition
Main, Frable, Helena Davis and smallspace Galleries
Leigh Suggs and
Opening Reception for the Artists
Fourth Friday, April 25, 2014
Free and Open to the Public
Open to the public, VCU's annual Graduate Candidacy Exhibition features work in a wide range of media created by the 7 master's degree candidates who will be finishing their first year in the program this May. Each student showcases a final body of work produced as the culmination of his or her experience in one of the 5 VCU Craft/Material Studies' areas: Evan Pomerantz, Amber Smith and Chris White are working in ceramics, Leigh Suggs and Hillary Fayle work in the fibers/textiles area, while Lucy Derickson and Kelley Morrison represent the metals/jewelry studio.
"Where Words Are Not Enough" is a title which aptly describes the current work of these seven artists. Dissolution and evocation of memory, visual phenomena, communication lapses, shifting perspective and remembered experience are just a few of the subjects being investigated in this exhibition. There are times when written or spoken language is not the most effective method of communication, and these students are striving to communicate this visually.
Amber Smith of CA, Hillary Fayle of NY and Lucy Derickson of MN, are making art concerning the evocation and dissolution of lost, haunting and comforting memories. By extending the senses and transcending time and place, these artists are deepening the connection between the past and present through their art.
Leigh Suggs, of NC and Evan Pomerantz of AZ have concentrated their work on, among other areas, the inadequacies of verbal communication and the times in which a phenomenon may only be experienced visually.
Christopher White of IN and Kelley Morrison of MN both deal with reality and perspective in their current work. White's material explorations bridge the gap between reality and farce while Morrison's pieces deal with story, memory, and the grey spaces in between.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.vcucandidatesexhibition.wordpress.com