Sunday, February 6, 2011

Extra Credit: Megan Sterling

Megan Sterling recently had her opening of her exhibition 'The Space Between' in the Visual Arts Center on the Boise State University campus. I feel incredibly lucky to be exposed to art through my university; being able to go see Sterling’s pieces was a great experience. The medium she chose to use was charcoal. She really inspired me to get better at working with charcoal, because her pieces were so detailed and moving. The charcoal, black, was always contrasted with the white of the museum paper; it was a stark and interesting feeling.

The Space Between, 2007
Charcoal on Museum Board (Cut Out/ Installation)

The Space Between was my favorite and the one that affected my emotions the most when I was in her exhibition. There is invisible space in between the hands yet you can tell they are pushing against something hard. I felt as if I wanted to crawl in between those giant hands and just be held by them and be that ‘space between’. There is exceptional value in this drawing that is made with the charcoal. The value created makes the hands so extremely detailed. As you can see by the picture (which is not me by the way), I felt extremely small standing next to those giant arms!

Within, 2007
Charcoal on Museum Board (Cut Out/ Installation)

This piece also made me feel extremely small. I felt like it was almost a frame that told me to stand in it and be its picture. So I did! I stood in between the arms, and it increased my feeling of being small, but it made me feel like I was literally within the arms. Again, the extraordinary attention to the range of value makes the arms and hands pop out and feel so detailed as if they are truly giant hands, not a flat museum board.

Friction, 2007
Charcoal on Museum Board (Cutout/ Installation)

This was another really moving piece by Sterling while experiencing her exhibition. To me it is not just two hands creating friction between them, it makes me question what tension there is or friction there is in these hands’ life that are making them so rigid. You can tell they are rigid and stressed, again, because of the amazing value that Sterling does with her black charcoal on the white board.

Another piece, that I was unable to get a picture of, is called City Scape. This piece made me feel the most small, because the title made you imagine the fingers to be as tall as the buildings of the New York sky line, and imagining fingers and a hand that giant certainly makes you feel small.

Another piece that really made me think was called The Space Between III. It was like the first picture posted here, but the bottom was not a hand, it was an ear! The ear was turned sideways as if the hand was pushing something into the ear. It made me feel like whatever the thing was that the hand was pushing in, it really wanted the ear to know it, to hear it.

Another piece that was quite personal for me was called Waiting for You. It was a line drawing of a man and a woman. The man was reaching for the woman. The woman clearly had a longing face, and the interesting thing was there was another linear face that was part of the woman that was looking down in sadness. At first I couldn’t understand why the artist had put this in the exhibition because it had no value and did not seem to relate at all to the rest of the exhibition; but I felt the distance between the two people; I was once apart from the man I love for a very long time and it brought me back to that place. There is extreme space in between, but also a connection, which is what I felt and saw in Waiting for You.

I loved the experience I had going to Megan Sterling’s exhibition right here on the Boise State campus. I recommend to anyone to go out and see her work in person; the detail and subject matter is much more inspirational and touching when you see her work in person.

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