The Blueline Gallery took on this challenge Friday when they opened their latest exhibit, “Comfort and Confusion,” which celebrated the works of recent BFA graduate Izzy Jarvis and MFA sculpture student ?Erin Tucker.
Jarvis displayed an array of prints, mainly portraits working in fabric.
“I have a couple of other pieces that are dealing with, like, the concept of material and representing material,” Jarvis said. “The show is just about exploring new work after graduation.”
Jarvis said her inspiration stems from people she knows and cares about. Family and friends frequently make appearances in her portraits, but one standout source for ideas is her grandmother, whom she recently lost.
“It’s a portrait of her using objects of adornment,” Jarvis said. “I drew the still life of a bunch of belts and jewelry that I inherited after she passed away and I ?arranged them, carved a linocut and printed it and sewed it all together into this scarf that moves at the base.”
According to Jarvis, her grandmother had a knack for dressing well, which she now carries on with clothing and jewelry her grandmother gave her.
Jarvis said she held positive memories with her as she worked on pieces in memory of her lost loved one. In the place of sorrow, Jarvis said she felt renewed creative strength.
“She was really well-dressed and she always gave me her clothes,” Jarvis said. “I’m wearing her cardigan today. She was a very snazzy dresser and, after she passed away, I kind of wanted to turn those feelings of sadness into something ?productive.”
The gallery, Jarvis said, was the perfect open forum for her work to speak for ?itself.
“It’s a very open space, nice movement that happens with the fans, plus there’s a lot of nice natural light so it doesn’t feel like my work is compacted into a space,” Jarvis said.
In terms of the future, Jarvis said she sees herself working with more of the nontraditional mediums.
“I’m continuing to work with new materials, working on more textiles,” Jarvis said. “I have a show in Knoxville, Tenn., at the end of month, so that will be the end of showing traditional printmaking work.”
Tucker’s work similarly focuses on atypical medium and subject matter, though her inspiration draws from a different pool.
“I used to work as a theatrical costume designer, so the body and costume and thread is something that I’ve always worked with,” Tucker said. “I have a really close connection with clothing, so I think that work is just a little bit about me navigating all of those things at the same time.”
Along with her experience in costume, Tucker said she spent part of her younger years modeling, so clothing took on an even greater significance to her as she began pursuing her creative path.
Tucker said she believes there is a link to draw between the clothing worn and the person wearing it.
“My whole life, I’ve really had a strong connection to clothing,” Tucker said. “That’s where the relationship to the body comes from, because you can’t really talk about clothes without the body or the body without clothes.”
The colors Tucker favors for her artwork also mirror a sort of consciousness of the female form.
“A lot of the colors I’m attracted to are similar to a feminine or flesh tone, more pink and natural, something that relates back to the body,” Tucker said.
In order to execute a couple of the pieces she displayed, Tucker had to immerse herself in a brand-new skill: casting metal.
“I was part of a residency program this past summer where I traveled to a foundry and learned about mold-making and fabricating these things,” Tucker said.
The next few months of Tucker’s artistic career will be invested in her MFA thesis show, which will open at the Grunwald Gallery near the end of the semester.
“The works I will be showing for my thesis are all made from actually garments, from found objects and clothing,” Tucker said. “So it’s connected but ?definitely different.”
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