The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South exhibit examines self-perception through art

By Kim Anderson/reporter

Discovering oneself in art with a twist was what students and other onlookers participated in Nov. 17 at the South Campus Carillon Gallery.

Local artist Rusty Scruby, a Texas A&M alumnus, and Brooklyn, N.Y., artist Sara Pringle, a University of California alumna, explore the realities around them and, in the process, investigate their own identities and place in the world through Identity Rediscovered.

“The ‘things’ around us are cataloged as icons, symbols that represent a larger idea — person, cat, containers or fruit. Rusty Scruby and Sara Pringle defy this method of identification,” said Joshua Goode, fine arts department chair.

“They determine their identity by exploring their surroundings, documenting and discovering their place within them.”

The artists evaluate perception and the way people unconsciously interact with their surroundings.

For Scruby, the central premise is to break up his personal narrative in order to reconstruct it. The formal technique conveys a feeling of the passage of time, Goode said.

Employing ideas of repetition and movement and using a highly personalized technique of weaving, he creates photographic and mixed-media constructions that play with the boundaries of 2-D and 3-D. 

“Scruby likes to break down everything around me into basic parts, playing games to deal with reality,” Goode said.

Individual pieces of paper are cut precisely to interlock with the next, which looks much like knitting.

“As I lock pieces together, a surface begins to grow, much like a piece of knit fabric grows one stitch at a time, one row at a time,” Scruby said. “In fact, this technique of building a surface comes directly from my experience of knitting.”

Scruby uses various media including orange juice jugs, milk cartons, playing cards and photographs.

“I really enjoy viewing his artwork and talking with him. I love how he can take such simple items and make them art,” said Kaylee Landry, who attended the opening night reception.

Pringle, who was on her first trip to Texas, takes a direct approach. She examines photographs of herself and, at times, compares herself to others or imagines herself in make-believe situations, all in an attempt to examine her real response and purpose.

“She reassembles all of the unique characteristics found into a truer version of her,” Goode said. “She is not intent on likeness but of discovering who she is and how this contradicts the accepted idea of ‘Sara.’”

Pringle paints self-portraits in her loft apartment in Brooklyn. In them, she places herself alongside her cat and a young man, whose image she found on the Internet.

The figures are in the foreground of vast natural settings such as mountains and the ocean. She feels the modern individual is made more so through the Internet as a construct and projection of oneself and others.

“Online personas — as mediated by Facebook, blogs and YouTube — point to both an impulsive, unconscious truth and the superficially edited layers which obscure it,” she said. “As both indictment and concession, I use provocative images of myself collaged onto grand sceneries, sometimes in conjunction with fictitious companions, to elicit ambivalent narratives of self, sexuality, identity and the body — all malleable entities by which we are manipulated.”

Student Samantha Worley said she is drawn to Pringle’s works.

“Sara’s messages behind her paintings, as well as the paintings themselves, are very unique,” she said.

“I find myself staring at them every time I walk into the room. Her beautifully painted pictures address the notion of intimacy in a world quickly becoming devoid of one via the society’s attraction to online existence.”

Goode described the exhibit as “identity deconstructed and reconstructed — the creation of true self.”

The exhibit is on display in the SPAC Carillon Gallery through Dec. 8.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday or by appointment.


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