Artist: Amy Duran
Media: Mixed Media, Ceramics
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Werby Gallery
Amy Duran is a CSULB undergraduate who is working toward her BA in the School of Art’s Ceramics Program. Amy is from Buena Park, CA, and is a senior at CSULB. This exhibition is part of her Senior Thesis. She hopes to pursue a future career in creating props for films. Her interests include creating ceramic pieces and going to Disneyland. Some of the ideas that her work explores is the struggle of sexuality as a woman while trying to maintain her inner child.
Formal Analysis: In terms of the formal qualities of the work, it features many different types of material ranging from pieces of wood, fabric, clay, marbles and some type of cotton. Throughout the piece, the main characters that are shown are made out of clay with many details. Each of the panels in the piece features it’s own scenery which includes pieces of wood for possible walls, spinning turntable for the characters to move, and some type of grass. From an overall perspective, there are various colors of fabric curtains that surround each panel. In terms of media, there is also some technical features such as the wood mechanisms that were created to make the characters move. There was also a wolf character that features glowing eyes which were due to lights that are inside the eyes. Throughout the exhibition there were various lines due to the different shapes of the characters such as the young woman, the teddy bear, the dogs, cats, and the pieces of clay foods. In terms of the colors of this exhibit, it features a variety of colors such as pink, blue, yellow, red, purple, brown, and mixes of these colors. There is also the key color of gold that is featured on each physical book that is positioned in front of each storytelling panel. The rhythm within this piece is shown in the way that each panel is next to each other in the form of a story. Each of these panels represents a scene providing a smooth transition of the story being told within the exhibit. The scale of the overall exhibit is big, but features medium sized panel boxes with the characters and scenery. The exhibit also features many different textures which range from the smooth fabric of the curtains, around the pieces, and within the pieces. There is also the texture of the pieces of cotton that is featured in one of the boxes. Another unique texture is that of the wood lever that people who view the exhibit may pull to make certain scenes or characters move.
Content Analysis: This piece is specially focusing on the idea of the conflicting worlds that women have in terms of their sexuality and yet their innocence as children. In this piece, Duran wanted to demonstrate her own struggle of trying to be free with her own sexuality as an adult woman, but feeling as though there is a struggle between that sexuality and her inner child having a space of it’s own. Duran wanted to express through her fable story exhibit that it is ok as an adult to be afraid. And the way to counter that fear is to not forget about the inner child which makes you who you are today. This is expressed in the way the story talks and shows a young woman who seems to be on both sides of the spectrum through her bondage type dress and yet running through the forest with her teddy bear. She goes on this journey to find answers and runs into characters and beings that represent somebody from her childhood like her old pet. By the end of the story presented in the exhibit the young woman realizes that she has no reason to fear how she views the world. The exhibit demonstrates childhood elements and yet shows sexuality elements to present how both worlds can collide and be beneficial together.
Synthesis/ My Experience: In terms of the overall exhibition and how it resonated with me, I felt that it relates to how I feel when I live my life. I think that as a grown woman I am obligated to grow up. And yet for me I feel it is very important not too lose your inner child and I feel that I demonstrate that playful inner child everyday. Although this is the case, I realized having that side of me seems to collide with my own sexuality and freedom as an adult. After seeing Duran’s exhibit and understanding her ideas I can relate to the struggle of being scared of being between two worlds. I feel that the exhibit talks about ideas in my mind that I never believed other people such as Duran thought about and struggled with. And I feel that after seeing this exhibit, I can feel more comfortable that I am not the only one thinking about these overlapping ideas.