NW art exhibit questions perception

By Audrey Werth/ tr news editor

NW art associate professor Trish Igo and artist Jill O’Brien have collaborated on Creaturely Moments, an art exhibit about the contradictions in our relationship with animals,

Ring Toss Animal, Trish Igo Photos by Audrey Werth/The Collegian
Ring Toss Animal, Trish Igo
Photos by Audrey Werth/The Collegian

currently on exhibit in the Lakeview Gallery.

Igo said the title came from trying to pull moments out of larger experiences.

“Most of our artwork is about animals,” she said. “We try to present them in nontraditional ways so that you will question how you perceive animals.”

Igo and O’Brien agree that making art is about communicating something that can be more impactful if expressed visually.

“A lot of it is about empathy, and there’s only so much you can say about that. It has to be in a situation that can provoke empathy,” O’Brien said.

Pearl, Trish Igo
Pearl, Trish Igo

Many of the works in the  exhibit aim to surround viewers with a concept.

“We usually do installation art so we have a bunch of made pieces and found pieces that come together almost like a movie set,” Igo said. “We tried to hold back on that with this one — space things out and be a little more minimal about it.”

The two have been collaborating since 2001.

“Since pretty early on, we’ve realized that we can do more together than separately,” Igo said.

As undergraduate students at the University of Texas, they pursued subjects outside of art.

Igo was working in a lab after receiving her bachelor’s in biology when she remembered her former art professor.

“I was pipetting [something used in biology] and facing the rest of my life thinking, ‘My ceramics professor had the best job ever,’” Igo said.

Art associate professor John Hartley said he had the idea to do the show to let students see her work because Igo is a new teacher.

“I want the students to see the work that she does because it’s not what we’re teaching them in class, and it exposes them to complex conceptual art,” Hartley said.

Igo also said students could benefit from seeing how an artist can work with mixed media.

“I think it’s good for the students to see you can put an idea first and make work not necessarily using one medium,” she said.

Creaturely Moments will remain on display in the Lakeview Gallery through Oct. 2.