Prof. Rick Smith

Prof. Rick Smith

Southern Illinois University Carbondale USA

What I will share

Concealed or exposed, above and below, in and out, rise and fall, field and forest... loosely these concepts of change over time and the nature of curiosity are the basis for this body of work, which is at the beginning stages of exploration.

Over the past few years, the Southeast of the United States has experienced epic flooding, and in my region in particular flooding of the great Mississippi River. Running over 2300 miles (3700 km) from Lake Itasca in Minnesota all the the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi is the second largest water way in the United States. The water of this notoriously unforgiving river is fresh, but also murky and mysterious. As the water mounds over the banks and sometimes levees it brings with it micro element of the past which get redistributed. Then, over time as the water recedes these elements become exposed again. This process fascinates me.

Using sheet metal and elements of things both precious and ordinary, I am exposing and exploring the concept of this type of change in topography; the  elements of those things left behind, poured into, dispersed out of... their natural state. For instance, a whirlpool and how it draws our attention downward to things we cannot see, then interpreting that into a vessel form. Or, looking at the strata of earth, sediment and muck that is left behind as the water recedes. These layers and the dense, silty pools of water this process leaves behind hold secrets of the past and are an indication of extreme change. The change that occurs can be so drastic that is can be difficult to ascertain just what occurred or even how. These are concepts that are explored in this body of work.


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