By Elizabeth Carrier | Echo
Clovis Blackwell's work has a not so "end of the world" outlook on the possibility of apocalypse.
In Dissolution: Where Do We Go From Here? (i.e. Maybe it's Not So Bad After All), Blackwell uses large-format serigraph prints and panel screen prints to convey his reflections on the pain and growth of transition.
Through studying heroic mythology in grad school, Blackwell began to reflect on his childhood obsession with post-apocalyptic science fiction. He loved Mad Max as a kid and it developed an interesting perspective on the end of the world.
"It was something that I wasn't afraid of, it was something, in a way, I think I looked forward to, because it meant that there was something afterwards," said Blackwell.
Blackwell acknowledges and attempts to combat the fear people have of dying and disposition against sacrifice in the present to invest in the future. He does so by aiming to communicate an image that represents a beauty to the ending to come. With images like "Dissolution: The Fire Within" and "Psycho-Holocaust Love Triangle," he approaches these ideals on an individualistic and societal level.
The medium of printmaking is time-consuming and labor-intensive work. It takes the cooperation of at least three people to produce his prints.
"I like getting deeper and learning more things and trying to master the medium (screen printing) and thinking oh God there's still so much I have to learn," Blackwell said that he is drawn to process intensive mediums like screen printing as an artist.
To communicate this motif, Blackwell uses natural images like flowers and images from nuclear weapons tests printed over each other in bright colors. This is to express the connection Blackwell believes to exist between the end of the world and the hope of new beginning. This juxtaposition of images sometimes leaves viewers with an interesting sense of calm.
Freshman Madeline Logan's favorite set of pieces in the exhibit is a series of four images named "Emanation."
"Just looking at it makes me feel hopeful," said Logan.
She felt as though the use of the very natural, happy images combined with such ominous pictures of nuclear bombings put things into perspective.
When people look at this exhibit, Blackwell hopes people will "start to think about their own lives and their interactions with the world, the possibility that that will end someday and what that means to them, ultimately I want people to come to terms with it or at least confront it"
Blackwell's exhibit Dissolution: Where do We Go From Here? (i.e. Maybe it's Not So Bad After All) is currently on display in the Metcalf Gallery for students to view and experience for themselves from Jan. 30 to March 2. There will also be an opening reception tonight at 6 p.m.
Blackwell implores us as a Christian community to reflect on the end times to come. May we look toward the inevitable end and remember the lens of new beginnings that Blackwell takes careful care to remind us of in his artwork.