Kelsey Gavin is the recipient of the Donald E. Camp Award for 2021. This award is established and selected by Donald E. Camp, professor emeritus of art, and awarded to the student exhibiting risk-taking in art in the Annual Student Exhibition.
Sharp Objects is saturated in heavy themes of destruction and abstraction that I have been experimenting with over the past several months. Right now, I am working with both surrealist landscapes and images of destruction and deterioration to form composition. In terms of artistic movement, I am drawing inspiration from Dadaism, German Neo-expressionism, and Surrealism. The most important visual elements of my work include the abstraction of architecture, the use of organic shape, and how that is impactful to the way one views the world.
I work heavily with the process of layering and construction in this series. My source material calls back to Post World War II images of destruction, using a repository of images of Europe after the war. I block and abstract forms the way I see them in photographs and translate my perspective into the physical space through printmaking. Another important technique I use is flattening. By flattening architecture and space, I introduce an additional layer of abstraction that speaks to the general uneasiness of these landscapes.