Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Beautiful Binaries - A Paradox of Perception

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April Mosher
Faculty Sponsor: Mary Visser

With the help of the King Creativity grant, I have spent the past two semesters working to complete a series of large-scale mixed media sculptures focused on engaging the viewer’s perception of tensions and actions in space through opposing materials. The transparency of plastic although perceived as solid holds back larger heavy rocks by the sheer force of its liquidness. As the viewer walks by, through, or under these works, I am asking the viewer to reconsider the properties of these materials. My sculptures are meant to question one’s perceptions of materials and space by playing on a paradox of form, material, and composition. By juxtaposing liquid and solid, manufactured and natural with geometric and organic forms, I create the illusion of duality in form, material, and composition. The psychological and the physical response that the viewer uses to construct their knowledge of the world is challenged – thereby compelling the viewer to revisit, reevaluate, and/or reconsider their assumptions. By presenting viewers with sculpture that initially causes them to make assumptions that contradict one another, I hope to force the viewers to recognize that how we see something determines what we see. I hope that my work causes people to pay close attention to their assumptions thereby slowing their judgment, eventually going so far as to alter their perceptions of their surroundings, of themselves, etc.

In their natural state, the materials which I arranged to create these sculptures are not those which one would normally describe as beautiful. Can an aesthetic experience exist before or beyond particulars or as a context? I want to open people’s minds, so that they do not simply see beauty as an attribute to a material, form, etc.; rather I want them to see beauty as both an attribute and a possibility. It is this “seeing things” both for what they are and what they could be that make my works possible.