FORM x 4
ROY: What kinds of interactions do you hope to foster between your work and the viewer?
…By taking a more literal, clinical view of this expedition I use photography and anatomical renderings to help guide the viewer in confronting questions of identity. Some possible questions to ask:
What does “I” look like?
Is the self-portrait an extension of the mirror?
What is it to become a part of the photograph and reject it at the same time?
What constitutes identity?
What is the actuality of the self?
Emily Sullivan Smith
I hope that the viewer can respond to the work’s aesthetics first and then perhaps to its content. Each piece and title opens a door to thinking about the natural world and our relationship to it. We can all make small changes, and I hope the work is an advocate for the environment and fosters small personal actions to aid in its preservation.
I would like people to think about waste and its impact on our environment. I would also like for people to explore on their own and possibly experiment with novel ways of using waste as art. I also hope that the viewer will gain a greater appreciation for emergent properties and how form is utilized in nature. When people see my artwork, they are always interested in trying to guess what my work is made from. That quest for understanding and the wonderment it brings is what I hope my work inspires in others.
In my work, I explore themes of “the other,” or cultural appropriation and history. I hope to create awareness and address issues that move people who share a similar story. Through my installations, I want to tell a story both of how one understands self and culture, but also what defines these ideals in America today.
ROY: What medium(s) do you work with and why?
[I work in] photography, drawing, and printmaking. As a female artist it is important to expose the conflicts of identity through the use of the photographic medium…My body, and any body, is always political…photography and drawings [are] a way to push back against digital anonymity and to reclaim the body…“I” in front of the camera contains more of the true self than in any other form of representation…I then am able to print extensive photographs of the self to dissect, via drawing, in hopes of using these blended mediums as a means of exposing identity as a physical operation and to then confront questions of identity.
Emily Sullivan Smith
I work as an interdisciplinary artist. Trained as a printmaker and sculptor, I choose the media based on the idea at hand. Often with three dimensional objects, the material serves to support the idea and further its message. My work explores the push and pull between the natural world and human behavior…A quote from poet Mary Oliver conjures the sentiment of the work and the relationship of the viewer to it. Oliver writes in her essay, Upstream, “Attention is the beginning of devotion.”
I mostly work with up-cycled materials and materials one might find around the house. Almost all of my work uses some kind of cardboard. I also use a lot of oatmeal…I like materials I can dye and distress, cut up, mold, burn, and are easily found and cheap to obtain. I would say I am a bit obsessed with organic forms…For me, a decaying tree stump is a readymade sculpture made by nature…I also want my work to be a catalyst for the exploration of sustainable ideas in art and a showcase for how up-cycled materials can be used to create beautiful art pieces.
Halfmoon works in porcelain, earthenware, stoneware, and glaze. Her work is reflective of her experience as a woman and her Caddo tribal heritage.