Not many people would guess that ceramics could accurately convey the feeling of depression, but this week’s exhibit at the student art galleries prove that they can.
“Nothing Really Matters” is a ceramics exhibition by senior Bachelor of Fine Art Ceramics student Corrie Wille that is based off psychedelic 1960s music posters and album cover art.
The photogenic exhibition reels attendees in with its hypnotic colors and patterns. The works were created with dyed porcelain. Only half of the gallery space is used however because it is partitioned off from the rest of the gallery. The space that is used has been covered in black velvet, so that the vibrant artworks can stand out.
Wille included phrases from her favorite music, television shows and life experiences that pertain to the themes of depression and anxiety. She drew inspiration from Pink Floyd, The Doors, Nas, Rick & Morty, Bojack Horseman and more.
Some of the words she includes are easy to read, while other phrases require gallery goers to tilt their heads or adjust where they stand to read the winding phrase.
“I like the words ‘Life’s a bitch and then you die,’ I think it’s pretty funny and I think we all feel like that sometimes,” said senior political science major Jacob O’Donnell.
The exhibition aims to “make you feel how I feel,” Wille said. The goal was to portray those who are struggling with their mental health while trying to put up a positive front on the outside.
“I’m hoping they can get two reads: either come in and enjoy it as something fun, light and colorful and visually pleasing, but if they take the time to actually read it they can understand,” Wille said. “That is kinda how depression is, you can’t tell just by looking at someone, they can look happy, but it’s not exactly what they’re feeling.”
Instead of a typical artist statement for her exhibition, she featured an original poem, with the same title as the exhibit, describing her installation.
Reactions she has received have been split between people admiring her color use and those directly identifying with the message of the exhibition.
“In these galleries we have students who are here, the same age, same school, they may be from anywhere around the world,” said Glenn Zucman, fine arts department lecturer. “But living here in Long Beach, they experience a lot of the same as others on campus so it’s interesting to see how your peers express their experience.”
“Nothing Really Matters,” “Signaling,” “After, therefore because of it,” Swept Under” and “Somnium Album” are located at the student art galleries between the Fine Arts 2 and Fine Arts 3 buildings. The exhibitions will run until Thursday April 11 from noon to 5 p.m, apart from Wednesday where they are open until 7 p.m.