Watkins concludes its BFA Thesis Exhibitions 2016 with a triple offering from Mali Hamilton, Aaron Harper and Rebecca Lindley, the last in a five-part series from 12 graduating students in the Departments of Fine Art and Photography. The senior thesis projects – Hamilton’s Domestic Oblivion, Harper’s Garden Relay and Lindley’s Hiraeth – will open in the Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery on Thursday, May 5, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and remain on display through May 15.
Mali Hamilton is a multi-disciplinary artist, currently working in sculpture and installation. She’s a native Texan (who will never relinquish that title) but claims the South as her home, after traipsing through North Carolina to New Orleans over the last 20 years. She works in whatever medium is called for, but is partial to objects and their combinations. She won 1st place at the 2016 Watkins Currey Juried Student Show, as well as taking Best of Show and multiple other awards in 2014 from the juried student show at Meridian Community College.
Recent works consider middle-class, everyday environments of domestic space and the comforts found in “normal,” reproducible, repeatable, reinforced. The constant aspiration and accumulation of objects creates the illusion of control over chaos. Urgency only occurs when the illusion becomes questioned; how can you determine if you are leaving an impression or if you are being impressed upon?
In Domestic Oblivion, she considers obsessive fixations on repetitious details of everyday life. These fixations are fabricated for hypnosis and used to consume through mass-produced aesthetics of an elaborately arranged life. Materials include wax and assorted domestic objects considered to inhabit everyhouse.
Aaron Harper • Corpus Christi, TX
BFA in Fine Art
Show title: Garden Relay (painting, drawing, ceramics, knickknacks)
Garden Relay is a visual poem about the mysterious powers of nature and life’s fragility. The poem thinks about thinking, contemplates cycles, and lives with ghosts. Visual information is obsessively weaved together and destroyed, becoming at once a deeper understanding and a lack thereof, a self-destructive growth, a schematic with no legend, a continuous metamorphosis lit and exploded from dreams and toys, rivers and voids.
Rebecca Lindley • Florissant, MO
BFA in Photography
Show title: Hiraeth (photography, artist books, installation)
Rebecca Lindley, who hails from the St. Louis suburb of Florissant, first studied at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley before transferring to Watkins. Her installation piece Reflecting Memories was part of two St. Louis exhibitions, and her work has been seen in Nashville: “and Living, ” which featured a book she made about her birth mother, and The Video Show.
She creates work about adoption, hoping her experience on being adopted will create more of an adoptee’s voice in the process, as that voice is often overlooked. Hiraeth, which reflects Rebecca’s search to find her birth parents, includes photographs, artist books, installation, and the alternative photography processes cyanotypes and kailotypes. The show’s title is a Welsh word with no direct English translation and conveys a homesickness for a home which never was; to feel hiraeth is to experience a deep sense of incompleteness.
The triple exhibition and opening are free.
Additional participants in this Fine Art and Photography thesis series in Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Gallery are Mackenzie Maroney and Cassi Wright, March 24-April 3; Joseph Newsome, April 7 (in the lighting studio); david onri anderson, Andrew Cox and Christopher Strachan, April 7-17; and Lily Adcock, Upreyl Mitchell and Sophia Alana Stevenson, April 21-May 1. The Currey Gallery is located in the main academic building on the Watkins campus.