Kelsey Shamblin, BA Senior Exhibition in Ceramics
December 5 – December 15, 2014
Highsmith Art and Intercultural Gallery
Gallery Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Opening Reception: December 5, 6–8:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public.
Image(right): Kelsey Shamlin. Sapphire, from BA Senior Exhibition Portfolio, Uncut, 2014.
Several pieces of Kelsey Shamblin's BA Senior Exhibition Portfolio, Uncut, are included in the BA Senior Group Exhibition along with ten other candidates whose portfolios are the culmination of their work toward a bachelor of arts degree in art.
When I began making sculptures I was fixated on mimicking perfection, mirroring how most people conduct their lives. I found that nature provided the best template to follow in order to make nearly perfect pieces, and I began making abstracted sculptures of natural objects. As most people encounter at one point or another, I was introduced to an issue more pressing than my own perfection. This happened when I was shown images of crystals in their raw, uncut form. My work then began exploring contemporary Western tendencies of materialism and consumption. The crystals, minerals, and precious stones portrayed in these pieces are traditionally used by the wealthy for decoration or to be used in technology. I represented these stones in their natural form as I saw them, uncut, in order to emphasize the beauty found in the raw. My exploration of perfectionism lead me to understand that nature is nearly perfect; crystals and minerals are more visually pleasing in their own environment as opposed to in our devices or fashioned into necklaces. On a more political side, excavating these stones also causes environmental degradation, poverty, and health concerns in already impoverished locations. I have lived and grown alongside a culture that is addicted to electronics and material possessions while disregarding the consequences of their purchases. This series was inspired by my desire to preserve the natural world, forgetting my perfectionism to focus on world issues.— Kelsey Shamblin.