Feature Articles

September 2013

Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, Features Works by Hayley Douglas and Julie Mixon

Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, is presenting two new exhibits including: World Without Walls, featuring ceramics by Hayley Douglas, and Empirical, featuring photography by Julie Mixon, both on view in the Hyman Fine Arts Center Gallery, through Oct. 3, 2013.

Hayley Douglas is primarily a ceramic artist, but she also experiments in other mediums. As of May 2013, she received her Master’s Degree in Ceramics at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. She completed her Bachelors of Arts degree in 2009 at Francis Marion University in Florence. She is currently continuing to explore her ocean-inspired concepts and pushing her experimentation to more cosmic levels.

“Outer space is a vast frontier full of mystery and beauty. I have always been drawn to the vibrant images of outer space, with its bursts of color and clustered stars, spiraled galaxies and deep darkness. I have always created connections between the ocean and the cosmos, as I have found the two quite similar. The ocean is an expansive world without walls that has barely been explored. Such incredible creatures and marvels await beneath its cerulean surface. I would like to reach out and capture the beauty and wonder, securing it through my work.”

“I work primarily in porcelain and glass,” continues Douglas. The surface of the glass provides a luminosity that is incomparable to other surfaces I have experimented with, and captures glints of light as it shines across the surface. I seek to provide a visual tie between space and the ocean.”

“My art is comprised of recollections from time spent at the coast as a child, as well as elements from the imagery I have researched and I wish to capture for the viewer. The play of light on the cracked surfaces of the glass shimmers, while abundant patterns and shapes harmonize, representing the elements I find similar between the aquatic and cosmic environments that have influenced my art. Piece by piece I recollect the vivid memories of my experiences and my journey to discovery,” says Douglas.

Julie Mixon is an image-based media artist who focuses on processes that merge analog and digital photography. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Francis Marion University.

Mixon began her studies in photography as an undergraduate at Barton College, in Wilson, NC, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. In 2004, she received her Master of Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in photography from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Mixon’s career in photo education began at Lenoir Community College, in Lenoir, NC, in 2004 where she taught as an Art Instructor for over seven years. Her photography courses emphasize traditional and digital darkroom techniques with an emphasis on the fusion of the two mediums.

“By definition empirical evidence is evidence based on observation and experience,” says Mixon. “These evidences come from sources such as the senses, memory and testimony. This body of image based media compares the image making process to gathering empirical evidence. In this case, the images are evidence of how I experience my nearby environment, particularly the home, family and the objects connected to them that are both man made and organic.”

“My process of image making is often the result of joining symbolic objects together with images made of places and people of my day to day experience. These elements come together to form a personal narrative based on a memory or mere appreciation for formal (line, shape, color, texture, light) aspects.”

“Many images from this series are placed in groups of two of three,” adds Mixon. “Placing images together, whether related or random, allows the viewer to make their own narrative connections between the images. Even though the images represent personal memories of places and people, the viewer can still be connected to them by filling in the gaps. When we see something non-distinct, whether it be an abstract work of art or a patch of clouds, it is our natural desire to want to see something concrete. The process of layering beeswax over the surface of the already apparently fading image lends itself to how memories exist, sometimes futile, sometimes clear, and more often than not, incomplete.”

“Collectively, my work centers around symbolic objects, the spaces these objects inhabit and the people connected to them. Most often these spaces and objects are re-contextualized by taking them out of their original environment and re-building a new space for them to inhabit. I have always been drawn to natural objects but have never really been drawn to photographing them in their original environment. The act of collecting things from nature and joining them with other elements such as papers or found objects has been a fascination and a practice since childhood. My childhood practice of this process included finding leaves and flowers and gluing them to a piece of paper to make a formal design. This practice resurfaced, but has grown to utilize a flatbed scanner, various cameras and Photoshop,” says Mixon.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call 843/661-1385 or visit (http://departments.fmarion.edu/finearts/gallery.htm).

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