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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

TR art exhibit inspires inward, silent conversations

Solo Conversation, Peter Colley Photos by Zach Estrada/The Collegian
Solo Conversation, Peter Colley
Photos by Zach Estrada/The Collegian

By Kirsten Mahon/tr news editor

An inventory of found items and retrieved thoughts went into the construction of the Good Luck Getting Lost sculpture exhibit in the East Fork Gallery on TR Campus.

Artist and Texas Wesleyan art associate professor Peter Colley said he crafted his work based on a story that began 12 years ago. As students approach the gallery on the first floor of the East Fork building, they will see the earliest piece in the show, a vertical, wooden sculpture with a broom and an inverted body painted in neutral colors.

Color scheme is important, Colley said. Many of the shades used are neutral to draw the viewers into the works. Too much color and the viewer might stop seeing the work altogether.

For the works in the gallery, Colley draws much of his inspiration from Asian culture, he said.

“The exalted figure of the empire would be carried around, and so we’ve got this inverted figure in distress, like an upside down flag,” he said. “And it’s being carried around on these poles with this broom and the whole thing is whitewashed.”

Colley said whitewashing is something that is only half-heartedly covered up. The idea of a whitewashed world is carried though other pieces in the gallery such as the piece “Nature of Reality,” where a whitewashed house is perched atop an inverted leg with a large yellow bird flopped over the roof. The leg is long, and the foundation holding the leg is thick, sturdy and at least 3 feet below the ungrounded house.

“It becomes sort of this mental exercise, this conversation between the figure and me, or any of these pieces,” he said. “What are you telling me? Where’s it going?”

Colley’s conversations and inventory tell his story about the journey of thought and realization. He encourages viewers to enter into their own conversations with his work as they view it.

Good Luck Getting Lost is an exhibit that purposely wishes to share quiet, thoughtful moments between the artist and the viewer, Colley said.

“If you don’t look underneath the sculpture, you may miss something,” said Angel Fernandez, TR art associate professor and gallery curator.

Fernandez said his favorite piece includes one of Colley’s found objects, a bright yellow wrench and a soft blue sculpted figure on top.

Robert’s Broom, Peter Colley
Robert’s Broom, Peter Colley

Thought-provoking conversations Colley used in the construction include the rights and roles of men and women in modern societies, ancient Asian culture and contemporary issues as they change in perspective among different generations. Each piece represents a thought process to Colley, a moment where he was lost in an idea, he said.

“There’s a wrench thrown into that conversation,” Fernandez said, about his favorite piece. “For me, it’s the interplay of the blue figure the earthy tone of the table it sits on.”

Fernandez said the colors and textures came together beautifully, and the conversation of the piece was a visual whisper.

The distinctive sculptures can be provocative. Colley used items like the wrench and high heels to build foundations for and accent his sculptures to ground each idea.

The show runs through March 22, and the newest piece in the gallery will join TR’s art collection started by TR president Tahita Fulkerson.

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