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Laconia Gallery


What Is Left: 2014-2015 Award Recipients of the Wellesley College Alice C. Cole Alumnae Fund

Saturday, March 5, 2016 to Sunday, March 20, 2016

Feb. 5 – March 20, 2016.

Opening Reception: Feb. 5, 6-8pm.

Gallery open Friday-Sunday, noon to 4pm.

This exhibition brings together a collaboration between Wellesley College and Laconia Gallery to feature new work from six recipients of the 2014-15 Wellesley College Alice C. Cole Alumnae Fund – Laura Cincotta, Jennifer Cawley, Becky Parker, Eliza Murphy, Mary Mullaj, and Alexandra Olivier. This fund provides project-based support to recent Wellesley alumnae for the development, production, and exhibition of new projects in painting or sculpture, broadly construed.

What Is Left weaves together the work of these six artists under a mutual theme of impermanence. Whether tracing the land, a memory, a dream, translating an impression, or a fleeting moment, each artist explores through their own process, narrative and experience What Is Left.

Laura Cincotta, Home Project, oil on canvas

Jennifer Cawley, For My Lai, Wallpaper (detail)

Mary Mullaj, Regeneration 3, Stitched fabric Cyanotype, 36″x36″

Becky Parker, Truck #2, Oil on Canvas, 20″ x 35″

Eliza Murphy, Piglet Skeleton, Oil on Canvas, 48″x60″

Alexandra Olivier

About the artists:

Jennifer Cawley’s most recent work utilizes drawings printed onto wallpaper to respond to war-related trauma. “Cultural memory, personal memory, patterns of remembering, forgetting, writing, un-writing, rewriting, the “making and un-making of the world,” particularly as they relate to contemporary social issues and social justice concerns, inform my artistic work as a kind of witness. As a kind of “forgotten” background object, my wallpapers stutter, stammer with repetitious imagery that slips out of an obscuring sort of beauty and into registration of disturbing events and back again as they invite viewers to consider their content.

Laura Cincotta’s latest project continues an exploration of the profound imprinting of the house in which she and seven siblings grew up and its enduring influence on her adult self. “I find myself continuously returning to these interiors in both sleeping and waking imagery. The core of the work is 22 oil paintings on panel in scale with the rooms they depict, while the colors, furnishings, and figures are those of memory and dreams. Mostly empty, the rooms echo the mystery of being family and the fraught endeavor to create one of my own.”

Mary Mullaj works with historical photographic processes such as cyanotype in conjunction with natural and ephemeral materials to explore what is left behind when change occurs over time. “In these pieces I explore familial ties and relationships, the cyclical nature of life/death, my connection to place, genetics, and inchoate memories.”

Eliza Murphy’s work traces an agricultural journey of meat and land. “ In my paintings, I focus on portraits of meat and the land that animals are raised on. I consider how the land cradles the movement of time, and in many cases through animals that we raise for food. I gathered material for this work through my experience and surroundings while working with cattle and pigs on a ranch in northern California.”

Alexandra Olivier’s recent work, “Digital Pet Graveyard” is a memorialization of deceased digital friendships. Her series of Hydrocal gravemarkers lend permanence to otherwise erasable, restartable deaths. Screens embedded in each sculpture capture the image of a digital pet’s imagined afterlife, unable to be overwritten by visitors. 20 years after the initial release of Tamagotchi, Digital Pet Graveyard imagines a world that preserves and treasures volatile computer personalities.

Becky Parker uses paint to translate a cascade of fleeting moments captured photographically behind the reflective windows of various vehicles in motion. Shot within the space of departure and arrival, these moments simultaneous suggest movement and stillness. “Like snapshots taken through squinted eyes, these rapid coincidences are unpredictable and often exhilarating; they compel the viewer to interact with unknown territories speaking to distant memories, unbounded emotions, or times of transition. Ultimately, I depart from the strictly representational elements of the photograph and invest time back into the depths of liminal space with layer upon layer of oil paint—each layer marking the paths and trails we might not otherwise notice or perceive.”