On December 10, 2016, I went to the “Core Sample: Selections from the Permanent Collection” hosted by Alfred University. The gallery offered a variety of works from different eras of the past 100 years, and the three shown below are the ones that piqued my interest.
This sculpture is known as “Doll”, and was crafted by Michaelene Walsh in 1995. Using stoneware, wood, metal, and hemp, she was able to create an unsettling vibe upon looking at her creation. Despite not being proportional to a normal human body, a contrapposto stance can be seen, giving it a strange sense of sass, as well as some femininity. It’s desire to pose appealingly contrasts with it’s seemingly grotesque appearance and disfiguration. Due to the fact that it would likely be rejected if it were a normal human, this doll truly speaks the word “uncomfortable” to it’s viewer.
Anne Currier created “Inversion” in 1990, using glazed earthenware. It is a very smooth piece, reminiscent of desert sand, and allows the viewer to follow it around in circles. The soft color lets the viewer not get too disturbed with prolonged staring. It’s twists and turns gently bring the viewer’s gaze back to the center, and back around again. Although a ride for the viewer, normalcy is regained upon settling back onto the centerpiece.
This untitled piece by Graham Marks, made in 1976, uses unglazed earthenware to illustrate balance between two patterns. The innermost pattern creates a sense of depth in the center, and eases the eye with the pattern’s organized choreography. It can be seen as metaphorical to the earth’s core, as the pattern is a warmer color in comparison to the outside pattern, which can be seen as the crust. A cooler, earthy tone, the outer pattern is less organized, and is more random. While disorganized, it allows the eye to fill in the blanks of it’s texture, creating more balance.