Thesis Exhibitions

Matthew Kemp and Jeremial Nickerson
Rondelieu Campus Center and Art Center
December 10 - 17, 2019

Matt Kemp

My work is about the parts and process of story making — it is an examination of how we observe narratives, break them down into their component parts, and then reorder, rearrange and combine them to create our own. I am interested in how this process is repeated by different people who will see varying possible patterns, and how a nearly infinite variety of meanings and interpretations can emerge from these variations. It is meant to focus on the micro, the individual moments, emotions and actions that make up a story, and simultaneously zoom out on the macro, to see the collected efforts of many people, ordering, arranging and choosing their own story to tell.

These interests take shape in my work in the form of a set of modular story blocks featuring a cartoon fish, frog, and fox. They were chosen in reference to the anthropomorphized animals in Aesop’s Fables (Aesop, 1994), where the creatures serve as a kind of regular acting troupe, cast as different parts in a number of short stories. The historical figure Aesop is believed to have died hundreds of years before the fables were written down. It is thought that they were actually the work of many storytellers, working over many generations to hone the tales. This kind of group authorship and iterative storytelling parallels the processes I am exploring in my work.

-Matthewe Kemp

Jeremiah Nickerson

My sculptures represent my feelings regarding the ocean. I have always been fascinated by the thought that some marine life has been around since prehistoric times, and that there are creatures larger than school buses living beneath the sea. I am exploring the idea that the majority of our planet is covered in this environment that we have yet to fully understand, yet continuously corrupt this aquatic environment.

Over the course of my lifetime I have seen first hand the devastation that overfishing, pollution, and misguided conservation attempts have done to marine wildlife. Creatures that were everywhere when I was a child are now scarce. Cod fish, which the place where I live is named after, are now practically non-existent in the area. The waters have been altered in what seem to be irreparable ways, which is extremely worrisome and upsetting for me. Through my work I hope to convey these feelings with the viewer.

-Jeremiah Nickerson