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

Self-indulgence main theme for TR Campus art exhibit

By Andrea Conley/tr news editor

Artist Michelle Brandley’s collection of paintings entitled Self Indulgences debuted in the Trinity River Campus’ East Fork gallery April 10 and runs until May 2.

An estimated 60 students, faculty and friends and family of the artist were on hand for the opening of the exhibit.

The collection, which the 27-year-old Brandley calls a series of self-portraits that depict her past struggles with body image and eating disorders, features images including a woman who has seemingly passed out after devouring a variety of junk food as shown by several scattered candy and cookie wrappers piled on top of her. Another painting features a hideously emaciated woman whose body shows the ravages of anorexia.

A series of portraits titled Euphoria shows a woman nearly covered in chocolate as she gorges herself with brownie batter from a mixing bowl.

Brandley readily admits her painting is therapeutic and has helped her recover from her own illness.

“I sometimes like to joke about the situation in some of my paintings,” she said.

A few feet away hung a painting of a young woman who stands semi-nude in front of a mirror. As she views her reflection, she sees two carrots where her breasts should be.

Although she does not view herself as a crusader to help other women conquer their eating disorders and body image problems, Brandley says her work has nevertheless struck a chord with some who face those struggles.

“Many women have come up to me and told me how much they can relate to the woman in the paintings,” she said.

Born in Landstuhl, Germany, Brandley completed her bachelor’s degree in visual art at the University of California at Fullerton. She will begin working on her master’s degree at TCU this fall.

Graphic design major Ryan Harvey, in his fifth semester at TCC, was among the group of well-wishers.

“I really like her artwork, how she uses food as symbolism for how she identifies herself,” he said.

Heather Braman, who majors in painting, agreed.

“I’ve been watching her work on it,” she said. “I’m really proud of her. It’s been really exciting to watch her complete this much work in such a short amount of time. She kind of influenced me in my own painting, and she’s helping me formulate the goals that I have for getting a series done myself.”

“I really enjoy her context and style of painting,” said painting major Celia Cortez. “I am so excited that her show is such a big success.”

Brandley said she does not lecture to groups on the subject of body image and eating disorders.

“Other than the talk I gave about 10 minutes ago,” she said. “My painting is my release.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian