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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Ancient images explored on SE

Blue Head, Red Head, Susan Harrington
David Reid/The Collegian
Blue Head, Red Head, Susan Harrington David Reid/The Collegian

By Karen Gavis/se news editor\

Susan Harrington: A Long History of Meaning pools ancient images, children, animals, Chinese hairstyles, felt and transparencies to produce a thought-provoking art display on SE Campus.

Pink Head, an oil on canvas, depicts a pink animal head atop a yellow background. A stark white bed occupies an area usually reserved for a snout while a splash of red appears bottom right.

Blue Head, Red Head, Susan Harrington
David Reid/The Collegian

SE student Samantha Thompson said, for her, the bed provides thinking space.

“And it looks like his heart is maybe on the outside,” she said.

SE curator Christopher Blay said the strength of Harrington’s art lies in the absence of things.

“It also explores a psychological space,” he said.

Like a well-tended garden, Harrington said her creative ideas come because she feeds them.

“Fragments of images are pieced together much as a physical life is patched together during a journey to find and form reality,” she said.

Harrington feels a strong connection with animals, and many animalistic images are revealed within her artwork. She said she has some Native American lineage, Chippewa, in her family, and much of her art is totemic. However, Harrington said all cultures identify with different animal species.

“For L.S. and E.M.,” an oil on canvas, incorporates adult and baby jaguar faces. The stacked cats share the canvas with cool shades of blue. Harrington said the blue represents water and is unconscious.

“I’m interested in the inner world,” she said.

SE student Salvador Rios thinks Harrington’s art represents nature and Freudian concepts like id and superego.

“I think the style with the transparent paper, it makes you look at multiple things at one time,” he said.

“Renne with Blue,” a mixed media on vellum with felt, reflects children’s faces intermingled with animals.

A row of 11th century Chinese hairstyles adorns the piece while a blue felt sphere dots the wall overhead validating its abstraction.

“I try to be open to what may come up,” Harrington said. “I hope the viewers may be open to interpretation.”

“Eagle with Blue and Pink,” a mixed media, felt and thread on vellum, reveals an eagle whose wings are spread overhead. At the feet of the majestic bird, a blue bed is sewn, another piece to provide onlookers space to pause and ponder.

“For L.T.,” another mixed media on vellum is Harrington’s most recent work. It shows a large cat on the left, and, underneath an overlay, a girl is noticeable as well as a bat-like upside down cat on the right. Near the bottom right corner stands a poignant little girl wearing a dress and holding a violin. A red felt replica of the second girl is fastened to the overlay and situated in the heart area of the first girl.

Pointing out the cats in the piece, Harrington said Egyptian cats were sacred and so highly honored they were entombed. Killing a cat warranted a death sentence, she said.

“At this point, it [the piece] has a lot of mystery for me,” she said.

Susan Harrington: A Long History of Meaning is a free exhibit and open to the public in Art Corridor II.

Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

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