“Living Landscapes” festival highlights experiences of students


Associate professor of Costume Design Nelson Fields lead a discussion entitled Costumes in Context in the Lucille Little Library in Lexington, Ky., on Monday, September 23, 2013. Costumes in Context was an installment in the Living Landscapes series presented by the Department of Fine Arts. Photo by Adam Pennavaria

By Will Wright | Assistant News Editor

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Homesickness, beauty in destruction and the apocalypse were some of the themes that inspired students from UK and the Inner Mongolia University (IMU) to create the art that is filling the Barnhart Gallery of the Reynolds Building.

The gallery is part of the week-long “Living Landscapes” collaboration festival between UK, the Art College of Inner Mongolia University and the UK Confucius Institute.

The students focused their art pieces around the theme of landscapes, but the types of artwork selected for the exhibition strayed from the traditional path.

“Students were encouraged to think of the landscape not only as a picture but also as an experience,” said Ebony Patterson, associate professor in painting and mixed media and juror for the exhibition. “I feel like (some) students are representing the traditional mode of landscape through picture, while other ones are trying to find a way to represent the landscape through materials.”

Not every piece submitted for the gallery made the cut.

A group of three jurors chose only the pieces they thought fit the gallery best.

The gallery contains different kinds of work, including paintings, pictures, sculptures and molds.

Mayuresh Moghe, a UK art graduate student originally from India, makes miniature landscapes using spices, and photographs them to give the impression of a real landscape.

Moghe used an Indian spice called Turmeric to create one of the photographs in the gallery.

“My goal is not to fool people,” Moghe said. “But I think the fact that this isn’t a real landscape will make (a viewer) a little more interested.”

Moghe said that being away from India inspires most of his art.

“My work is mainly about the fact that I’m away from home,” he said. “When I’m here I actually feel kind of homesick, but there’s this emotional conflict. I want to go and explore different places and have new, different experiences, but there is still a draw to go back home.”

Every piece chosen for the exhibition relates in some way to the theme of landscapes, but the jurors allowed students to try different things.

Art senior Morgan Shipps said one of her pieces in the exhibition was themed around experimentation and expression.

Shipps made one molded art piece every day for a few months.

She then presented a collection of those pieces for the gallery.

“The thing about doing a piece every day is being able to see trends in your self,” Shipps said. “So you can see what days you had a lot of energy or what days you were tired.”

She said her works explore the landscape of the mind.

“My work is largely about states of mind … and expressing that physically,” Shipps said. “It’s a lot about decay or mutilation, but a lot of it is about beauty despite that. I think (the work) treads the line between beauty and destruction, and beauty in destruction.”

The TV show “Lost” inspired art senior Chad Sines in his landscape photograph.

“Being a Lost fan, I kind of based my piece off Lost,” Sines said. “I wanted to show that moment after the apocalypse, that silence.”

Sines said the gallery has a mixture of different styles of art.

“It’s kind of a hodgepodge of different people’s experiences,” he said. “It has a little bit of everything from what I’ve seen.”

The “Living Landscapes” exhibit will continue through Saturday, Sept. 28.