New Union Gallery pieces showcase thought-provoking talent

Students reflect on the effects of time through their art

The opening attracted a respectable crowd.
The opening attracted a respectable crowd.

The Union Gallery’s opening reception of Ever Passing drew a large crowd on Friday night and presented uniquely personal mediations on the concept of time.

Ever Passing, the second in a series of student exhibitions, offered a selection of works across a diverse range of media — including film, installations, paintings and photography — examining the way time is explored and represented.

Ever Passing is a truly absorbing experience that goes beyond what many would consider student art.  

The most engrossing aspect of Ever Passing is the way in which each artist filters the concept of time through their own experiences and ideas on the topic. These works of art generate a nuanced understanding of what time is as a phenomenon as well as its impact on our lives, bodies and minds.

"Icarus" by Patrick Zumpano.

The exhibit allows artists to represent different conceptions of time through their art. On one hand, the pieces are rendered through time-based media such as video and performance, while others utilize captured moments, events, or scenes on a canvas or photograph.

Some of the most stimulating interpretations of time from the exhibit include Taylor Marrin’s “Brick Wall,”  Tianyu Yao’s “The Rhythm of Death,” Xiao Hu’s “Mo Bai” and a standout piece by Madison Costello titled “Happenstance.”

In her work, Marrin tackles subject matter like depression and anxiety that still can go misunderstood or be relegated to taboo status. Marrin’s pieces are in conversation with one another, together forming a whole.

“Common Knowledge” explores the inner world of the individual, delving into internal thought processes and feelings. On the other hand, “Brick Wall” presents the personality we show to the world.

Together, they strikingly depict the struggles of balancing between being true to ourselves, while the outside world often encourages us to lose touch with our internal selves.

In contrast, Yao’s “The Rhythm of Death”presents a black-and-white print of dead lotus flowers on a winter lake.

The piece addresses the duality of death and rebirth. Yao’s work highlights his ability to take the highly philosophical concept of “rebirth” and apply it to a seemingly-insignificant scene. As a result it generates a profound message about death and the passage of time.  

The most compelling and thought-provoking piece Ever Passing has to offer is Madison Costello’s “Happenstance,”an installation that explores time and randomness using elements of a Rube Goldberg machine.

A ball rolls through a wooden track and, through chance and cause and affect, can lead to seven possible endpoints.

Costello’s piece reminds us that seemingly insignificant acts can have great consequences. “I wanted to create something that demonstrates how one little decision in your life can effect the outcome in so many ways,” she said.

“Things happened to me in my life … were transformative, but also random, and I wanted to explore that.”

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