Volume 92, Issue 21

Thursday, October 8, 1998

far out


Delving into the student psyche

By Serena Leyes
Gazette Staff

For anyone who's ever had a fetish, a profound love for something or a shameful, strange compulsiveness to obsess over a specific entity, fear not. The Student Collections Project, on display at the John Labatt Visual Arts Lab, proves there are many in the same boat.

Students of the art faculty have bravely placed their fixations on display for all other eyes to see. It dives into a real, usually concealed part of these people's true characters. This is not a typical art exhibit, but rather a testimony of these artists and their weaknesses.

The collections in this exhibit range from the average to the strange. The question the viewer must ask is "why?" Why would Wendi Rodic have a need to collect beads – a perverse number of objects with holes? And what does her obsession with jewelry – a testimony she so gallantly displays on a black overcoat worn on a headless mannequin and calls "In search of love" – say about her personality? Her psyche is the underlying concept on display, as the shiny accessories symbolize the keys to love, attention and affection.

Olexander Wlansenko entitles his exhibit "KLEPTO," as he has felt the need to collect little bits of paraphernalia off famous paintings and places – for instance, lint from a Van Gogh painting. This is conceivably pure nostalgia, but it also fills an artistic need to feel close to the greats.

An assault of utters, horns and heifers decorates one corner of the artlab. Heather Jamieson has created "Never ending cows," a self-explanatory exhibit layered with careful attention to detail and a downright love for cattle.

Sandra Stinson displays her colourful array of shiny, matte, day-wear, night-wear, dramatic and conservative lipsticks on a massive black lip-shaped board. She has created an intriguing piece of art from the contents of every female bathroom drawer.

All these artists revived the chance to explain why, where and how they began their little fetishes on bio cards that accompany each exhibit. The method behind each artist's madness adds to the communicative process attempted with the viewer. Lynda Montgomary's idea was to messily stash telephone numbers and email addresses in a box and left "Great! Sounds like a plan. Talk to you soon," as her explanation. How many people can't relate with that?

The artists' confessions are more than simply revealing the innermost thoughts of their minds – they are displaying an enormous piece of who they are and their weaknesses. It's guaranteed, anyone can relate to at least one of these intelligently displayed collections.

The Student Collections Project is displayed in the Art Lab of the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre, with closing festivities tonight.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998