The Public Engagement Minor launched a new student exhibition space in Artists at Work

The Public Engagement Project Space, launched in the fall of 2015, hosts student exhibitions that focus on socially engaged art and contemporary topics. The space provides an important platform for students to engage in action and dialogue on issues facing our community and world.


Journeys: Translations of Travel & Transience

This exhibition featured seven artists whose work is impacted by movement.

Travel is essential to knowing the world in which we exist; to feel the shape of the earth and the distance that defines us. This holds true today, despite our culture, which encourages an ever more insular and sedentary lifestyle. In this way, travel is rebellion!

Statement

Participating Artists: Elizabeth Conlin, Jo Hatlevig, Sara Inacio, Ellanor Milkgren, Ssengam Niloc, Anna Welch, Emma Wolfsohn

Movement is essential to knowing the world in which we exist; to feel the shape of the earth and the distance that defines us. This holds true today, despite our culture, which encourages an ever more insular and sedentary lifestyle. In this way, travel is rebellion.

Travel means letting go of the space of your everyday, and returning transformed through experience. Journeys pull us into uncharted territory, taking us into the arms of people we never would have dreamed of meeting. They are a fertile place for curiosity. They are risky and brave. They’re charged with the faith in flying by the seat of your pants.

The work displayed here is created by folks whose lives and artistic practice have been impacted by movement. This exhibition shines a spotlight on those artists, who have traveled there and back, to tell their tales.

The exhibition features a diverse range of work, created by artists whose practice has been impacted by movement, including installation, ceramic, sculpture and print. Much of the work is interactive. There will be three evenings of events in the space over the course of the exhibition.

Aftermath, Emma Wolfshon

The first exhibition was a print based installation titled, Aftermath by Emma Wolfsohn.

Artist Statement

The people of Syria have had to flee their homes in search of new lives because of a five-year war. If the refugees survive the escape from Syria, many must live in large tent cities. The asylum seekers usually have nothing but their memories of home and what family is left with them.
The overwhelming expanse of tent cities is a direct representation of how many people have been displaced. The aftermath of tragedy results in detritus, objects discarded that no longer matter enough to carry. Many are only able carry the memories of Syria. One would presume most of these memories are often filled with loss and sadness.
By observing images of tent cities the collagraph plate was created and printed onto five pieces of paper to represent the five years of war. The cloths and cloth forms depicted in the blue screen prints represent the fragility of memories. The images of detritus are meant to represent detritus itself and the objects that the refugees are forced to leave behind.

The main reason why I chose to do this project was because I am ashamed of my ignorance. Many students like myself have very little understanding of the current events in the Middle East. Even after gathering research about the Syrian refugees and the reasons why they must flee their homes I am still unable to fully understand all that has lead up to this point. I have never known what it is like to live in the middle of a war zone. I have never had to flee from my home because of dangerous circumstances. The least I can do at this time in my life is to gather as much information as possible and as many stories from refugees themselves to raise awareness about their situation through visual art. My hope for creating these prints is to reflect some of the major details related to the war, such as the images of tent cities and personal belongings left in the mud. My intention is not to point fingers at anyone or place blame on people for not doing more to help, only to inform and remind people of what is happening to the people of Syria.