Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Discussion Questions for Art 209

Question from Group A to Group B:

How is death visually represented in this show?  How do Holly and Martha represent death in their own ways and how they connect with one another?

Question from Group B to Group A:

The triptych Collinson's Rapture is depicting literature, science, and history. How are each of these elements being portrayed as a single image to the viewer?


  1. Brad (group B): Death is visually represented in many of their pieces. The most dominant visual representation is the use of animal bones, dead flowers and tree stumps. Holly does not really represent death in her work, as the majority of her work consists of the universe, planets and natural elements. Holly's piece entitled "current" is one of her only works on display that you could argue that the downed trees could represent death. Martha is much more evident in using death as a medium in her work. However, her work represents a positive side of death, and not a grim interpretation. Her works focus on the scientific study of death, used in discovering how life works, such as birds flying or plants growing. They connect with one another through the theme of science and nature. Where Holly focuses on the natural, Martha focuses on the scientific.

  2. Paige
    Group B

    Death is visually represented in many ways. Firstly, by the representation of the passing of time. In many of these pieces, including “Collinson’s Rapture” and “The Look of Things”, the image of time is conjured up to show that the end, death, eventually comes, but even after that, time moves on. In “The Look of Things”, the poem talks about children finding the bones of foxes; so although, these foxes are no longer alive, their bones—pieces of their body that used to be surrounded by blood vessels and tissue and muscle, are now being moved about still, after their death. In “Collinson’s Rapture”, the poem talks about waiting, and time passing before and after finding this “rare” flower. It also puts these dead flowers in a “specimen box” type frame, and it reminds viewers about how after death, things that were once living can still teach us things and “live” on, like the foxes in “The Look of Things”.

    Martha was very much interested in conjuring up the image of death by using bones and showing actual “death” and life after it (The Look of Things, Mouse King, Summa). She even touches on the theme of rebirth in “Silver Forest” Holly, on the other hand, used many pictures of space to depict a sort of “life after death”, “what happens next” theme. Holly also focused a lot on the temporal, and the passing of time, which viewers know will eventually lead to death of some kind (current, seven notations, what I know).

    The themes of these 2 artists connect with each other because of the image of death that they conjure up. They are also very representative of the “circle of life”. Martha, with her death and rebirth themes, and Holly with passing of time, temporal themes

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  4. Group B

    Death is visually represented in a variety of ways throughout the show. There are bones, skeletons of small creatures in a glass circular container, and there are dead flowers and fallen trees. It is not the simple installation of these images that depict death, though. It is complimented by the representation of life. What is dead was once alive, and there are pieces depicting space (which goes on forever) and the earth which is alive. Holly and Martha represent death in both a literal and figurative manner. There are the skeletons and black, shriveled flowers that offer a very literal manner of displaying death. There are also the painted tiles of the earth and of space that are more figurative. The dirt and rocks on the earth are not alive or dead, but what grows from the earth both lives and dies. Space is expanding beyond its already immense size, which symbolizes to me the eternal, unstoppable cycle of life and death. Holly and Martha connect with each other by touching on both manners of visually discussing death.


  5. Keely, Group A -

    Collinson's Rapture depicts literature by presenting a poem, science through its 'specimen' style display, and history through the victorian cameo frames. All of these elements are combined within the frames. Within each element is a sense of romanticism (flowers, poetry, the elegance of the victorian era), and a sense of loss (the flowers are dead and black, the poem narrates a sort of loss, and the frames are reminiscent of an era long past). These two themes work to connect the different elements and combine them into one image, just as the three different pieces of the triptych combine into one.

  6. Kayla Group A.
    History is being portrayed in this image because of the way that the desk and contraption is created. The desk and chair are clearly not contemporary pieces. The designs on the contraption wheel are also antique looking. The top picture, the bones of the bird, and the contraption reveal the science in this image. Since this image is about a scientist's discovery how birds are able to fly, these three things depict that. The top picture shows parts of the graph that was created from the experiment. The contraption shows the type of machinery used to get the results, and bones in general typically represent some sort of science. The piece as a whole is a type of literature for the viewer and tells a story. All of these pieces together make up a single image for the viewer. They all come together to create something meaningful to the viewer. Everything about the piece allows the viewer to create this scientific, historical piece of literature through an image. Even though the pieces in this particular piece are not the same, they come together to contribute different aspects the artist is trying to convey to the viewer. It allows the viewer to think about the piece and try to fit the pieces together to get the actual meaning. When one looks at this piece they do not think of each piece separate, rather they think of them as a whole even though technically they are all different pieces. The artist uses this technique to create the full image she wants her viewers to see.

  7. Jamie Group B:

    Death is visually represented in this show through the obvious images of bones, skeletons and plant specimens. Holly and Martha represent death in their own ways but they connect with one another through the theme of their show, "Paths That Cross Will Cross Again." The artwork that consists of the universe, planets, and other natural images represents, in my mind, the paths and crossing of psychical objects and matter; where as the artwork with bones and skeletons represents the paths and crossing in a spiritual way. They connect with each other in a historical and scientific way as well and merge the theme of life and death together through this.

  8. allie group b: i believe death is visually represent in the show in a few different ways. the first of which is the bones. bones generally represent death because you only see bones after something is dead. also bones represent death death in ways like how they are used in halloween like scary skeletons or bloody bones coming out of the ground, they are also used to represent death for things like skulls on pirate flags. another way death is represented is a scientific way, such as the flower specimens or with the pins or the full skeletons of the lizards or birds. another way death is represented is by the images of the universe. the universe can signify what some people believe to come after death, such as souls or heaven ect. im not exactly sure which images were done by which person however i think they connected death throughout the whole show because they represented death in all the images in the gallery because each image has a contrast or representation of life and death. because everyone has their own views of death and their own views of art and images its hard to say how exactly how they represent those things, its hard to know what ways different people are viewing each piece and hard to know how the artist want people to view it. but thats part of the draw of the show because it could have so many different meanings and different meanings of death for each person.

  9. Hey Paul,

    Here's my gallery blog post comment:

    Each of these elements are being portrayed as a single image to the viewer. That image to me is death and loss. The literature that is used evokes the emotion and feeling of death by it's words. Bones represent the science behind what's left after death. History is represented with the victorian style furniture and frames which represent how life used to be before death came. Each of these elements: literature, science, and history, contribute to the feeling of death because individually they all capture what life was like and what's left after death. How bones are left behind and can be studied from while spirits join the universe and become one with the earth again. Martha's bones represent what's left behind while Holly's atmospheric and landscape paintings represent where someone goes after death.


  10. The triptych is portrayed as a whole image is done by literature, science and history. The literature is divided into three parts and each part is placed separately on a different piece. When the viewer reads the text, they read it as reading a book. By having the viewer read it as a book and have the literature divided as such, the literature creates a whole image rather than three separate ones. Science and history also play a part through color uniformity as well as size. The science is seen in the plants which are all painted solid black and are of a similar size. The history is seen through the reference of Victorian era silver frames. Each frame is the same exact color and size creating a visual image of one from afar. When the viewer looks at them as a whole, they see one image instead of three simply because all three have color uniformity throughout as well as a precise construction and attention to detail.

    Gabrielle Group A.

  11. Emily Roznowski, Group A

    The poem (literature), speaks of how rare the flower is, and how the artist had wished to come across it, but never actually expected to find one. Then, finds the flower where they expected to find nothing. Yet, the literal imagery shows the flower as black and dead (due to science), which brings the triptych into the theme of death and loss that is shown throughout the rest of the show, as well. It is all three of these elements (literature, science, and history) that pull the piece together into one complete image. Science is the reason the flowers are dead. History dictates the presentation with the victorian oval frame and rounded glass. Literature is what brings the piece to another level, giving the series a depth, and a reason for its visual content.