Artist: Colleen Marie Foley
Exhibit: Thorn Collaborative
On April 23rd, 2016, Alfred University’s Fosdick-Nelson gallery held an exhibit entitled “Thorn Collaborative.” The pieces of this exhibit didn’t really tie together in my mind at first, however after further observation and research, I see how it syncs with one another. Foley created this exhibit as a means to question the idea of shared body, memory and identity. As we interact with different people and become accustomed to new people in our lives, we draw from one another and begin to reflect one another and this exhibit was introduced in order to process an understanding.
One piece that truly captured what Foley was going for when introducing this exhibit is entitled Nympha. This piece stood out for obvious reasons, such as the fact that it was the only live piece of art consisting of two females wrapping themselves together in a sort of cocoon. It’s the merging of two bodies and making it one. While it does bring the two together, movement is indeed restricted, which becomes insufferable for both bodies. I believe the message Foley was trying to make clear in this piece is that while extreme closeness and intimacy is something we all attempt to achieve, it’s more about intimacy of the mind rather than just the body because there’s only so much we could do physically.
Galleries like this are fascinating because it shows that art doesn’t have to fall into the norm that it has to have extravagant colors or spectacular designs in order to be considered art. Simplicity such as molding two people in a cocoon or letters taped to a wall could be considered art, as long as the message is powerful. Foley’s exhibit is a fine example of an art that isn’t as conventional as the art we are accustomed to.
Exhibits such as “Thorn Collaborative” tie back to the Digital Media and Animation major because it challenges us. It challenges us to step outside our comfort zone and look into an art we’re not accustomed to and to possibly experiment with it. As artists, we cannot stick to what we normally do, we have to continue to grow along with the art society we belong to.