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Folded Morphologies Exhibit at Downtown Gallery Explores Art and Science

Posted Oct. 19, 2010

Art dissolves boundaries as Kent State University M.F.A. candidate Lesley Sickle creates new screen printed art for her thesis exhibition, Folded Morphologies, at the Kent Downtown Gallery. The exhibit will run Nov. 3-13, with an opening reception being held on Friday, Nov. 5 from 5-8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

Lesley Sickle M.F.A. Exhibit Folded MorphologiesSickle's body of work is an "examination of the dichotomy between the striking beauty of photomicrographs and the diseases they expose." With her exhibit she finds the beauty of even a dangerous toxin in the human body.

"Admiring magnified, color-enhanced photographs of cells, I found inspiration in the patterns and structures hidden from everyday view. Even the most deadly diseases appear beautiful on a cellular level," said Sickle.

Sickle explains her interest in the human body and disease as a personal topic and the fact that it is a fairly universal subject. She has investigated how to use the type of imaging needed for her exhibit from cells, toxins and the human body. Our culture and society have become reliant on the need to medicate creating a debate revolving around Internet and television self-diagnosis said Sickle.

Sickle received her undergrad at Kent State University and directly continued her education at the master's level, while working as an assistant to the director to all Kent galleries. Her passion for the process of printmaking is what guides her into escaping the boundaries.

Sickle's process is different than most screen printers. It begins with drawings derived from photographs and transferred to multiple silk screens, color-coded to illustrate the cell, the disease and the introduced toxin.

Printed on drafting vellum due to its thin, transparent qualities, areas are cut away, then are bent and folded into three-dimensional forms. Cut areas create a void or defect. Twisted and contorted, they imply the trauma or ailment that has altered their state. Subtle skin-like neutrals reference the body while cool blues and green are appropriated from microscopic cell photographs. Dark purples and black indicate the presence of disease or deterioration.

The last layer of information consists of a photographic image printed in fluorescent yellow symbolizing a toxin, a foreign element such as medicine that has contaminated the system. Using a number of matrices, printed one on top of the other, Sickle is looking to create interactions between the layers, exploring transparency and density, and to examine relationships between interior and exterior. Some of the forms are coated with silicone rubber, a transparent medium that is tactile and visceral and alludes to the body interior.

"I am interested in the combination of synthetic materials alongside organic imagery to compliment my ideas of the unnatural interrupting the natural, " said Sickle.

The Downtown Gallery, located at 141 E. Main Street in downtown Kent, Ohio, is open Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 330-676-1549 or visit http://galleries.kent.edu.

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Contact Information:
Effie Tsengas, etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398