Arts & Culture / Mosaic / May 27, 2009

Senior art shows explore space and entropy

Scratched photographs and intricate material hung between the Round Room and Ford Center for the Fine Arts walls last week, and were part of two seniors’ culminating projects. Photographer Matt Rosso and sculptor Taramaria Hood displayed their projects, “Shoot” and “Twist” respectively, in that space while sculptor senior Julia Ricciardi showed her work at The Box. All three gave presentations about their work in the Round Room last Friday evening.

Rosso said he has been passionate about photography since he was a child, perhaps because he was too young to use his family’s photography equipment. He showed the first picture he ever took, a Polaroid of a friend. Since then, he has admired the photographs in National Geographic magazine.

“Looking at National Geographic, I saw that photos could be more,” said Rsso.

Through classes in high school and at Knox, he learned to change lines and angles in his shot. While at Knox, he realized that he was taking a lot of pictures of dead birds and dilapidated buildings.

“I went in [to open studio] with my subject being death,” said Rosso. “It wasn’t actually death I was looking at, but entropy.”

He also began experimenting with scratching his image, which leaves marks on the prints in random and interesting patterns. He scratched his images using concrete blocks, tools, car wheels, burning and stomping. One of his most poignant photographs depicted a railroad going in one direction and a crack in the lens going in another.

Hood’s project focused more on her awareness of space. As a small person, she liked to consider how she moved around space and what her body was doing.

“For me, physical awareness and body consciousness in space is something that I’m very interested in,” said Hood. “This has informed a lot of the ways of my everyday experiences.”

Sometimes, instead of sitting on a chair, she sits next to it. Other times, she fits herself into small spaces. She also talked about how people move through space and what barriers, both physical and implied, people use for directions. She showed how the cafeteria is planned for people to move in a steady flow, as opposed to just finding an open space. This was an example of directed movement, as opposed to free movement. Hood’s art focuses on the interplay of the two.

She tried to manifest the movement through long-exposure photography. She took pictures of herself playing hacky-sack and then another person, finding similarities in the patterns between the two pictures. She has tried to replicate the designs in the photographs in drawings and sculptures. This will influence her future sculptures.

She also set up an empty room with cloth and false barriers to see how people would move through that space, whether her barriers were directive or implied.

“The intent was to draw the viewer through individually,” said Hood.

Ricciardi’s work, in both drawing and sculptures, looks at the female body.

“I see my work as a way to explore and explain my body and sexuality,” said Ricciardi. “I was really trying to approach the issue of pregnancy and motherhood in a very literal sense.”

Through her work, she tried to see how art relates sexuality and identity while also looking at how art can both attract and repel people. She found herself having trouble with some of the pieces because she has not yet been pregnant or a mother. Instead of working so literally with those subjects, she began working more with what she knew from her own body experience.

“[There are] parts of the body that are formless or unknowable,” said Ricciardi. “Things are changing and they aren’t always so easy to understand.”

Ricciardi also presented her drawings, which were modeled after tribal drawings, to go along with her work at The Box.

Laura Miller

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