March 23 – March 27, 2015
Reception: Wednesday, March 25, 5-8pm
Montserrat College of Art presents Betwixt/Between, a senior thesis exhibition featuring Kerry Alaura, Ashley Mendes, Kayla Cochran, Danielle Renino, Adam Kooken, Rory Bastille, and Alicia Parent. Together, their collection of work explores the space between presence and absence. Through various uses of photography, these artists embody what it feels like to be caught within both the past and the present. Betwixt/Between is an exhibition of the places that memory and nostalgia occupy.
Through performance, Alaura displays an integrative and interactive quilt of cyanotype images. Hung from the ceiling, this fabric creates an environment in which the creation of memory and art are intertwined. Alaura focuses on the importance of preserving familial relationships and traditions, most specifically the one existing between her and her grandmother.
Although Mendes also portrays a relationship with her grandmother, it is experienced from a different personal perspective. Through her sewn and collaged film photographs, Mendes revisits the places where specific memories of her deceased grandmother remain. The fabric, thread, and text that are integrated into the photographs are pieces of remembrance that connect memories of the past to a present space.
Cochran explores the absence of people in domestic spaces through her large-scale charcoal drawings. Realistically rendered scenes of inanimate human collections are brought to life with dramatic light and shadow, creating a sense of mystery and confusion. Cochran explores how people manifest themselves in the spaces they occupy and in doing so, she suggests underlying narratives about each environment.
Renino explores a similar tension between presence and absence through her digital photographs of abandoned mental institutions. In combination with the novel she wrote, these images delve into the deeper stories of places long forgotten.
Through a documentary video and photographs, Kooken preserves the everyday sights, sounds, struggles, and camaraderie of workers at the Salem Harbor Power Plant, a federal facility being shut down. As the environment these people inhabited daily for years disappears, Kooken uses imagery and audio to capture a quickly fading reality. In the midst of change, Kooken discovers what is being left behind in the walls, windows, pipes, and equipment of the power plant.
Digital photographic prints of window frames and reflections by Bastille allow viewers to find themselves inside a mirrored reality in which what is seen is not what exists before them. Struggling to look within, these windows conceal what lies past the surface, but reveal a deeper story and set of memories for Bastille and viewer alike.
Parent uses abstract digital photography in combination with writing to provide emotional connections viewers must create for themselves. Images of motion, color, and shape reach beyond the physical and explicit. Parent encourages viewers to contribute their own writing and responses to the work. The interactive nature of this project promotes personal introspection and allows viewers to explore their own memories and emotions.
Betwixt/Between will be on view from March 23 - 27. The reception is Wednesday, March 25, 5-8pm at the 301 Gallery on Cabot Street in Beverly. The exhibition is open to the public and free of charge.