Former professor returns for exhibition
February 17, 2017
Kallie DiTusa / The Courier
Photo courtesy of Rubi Nogueron
On Friday, February 10, Ian and Natalie Shelly said farewell to their show by hosting a closing reception at the Len G. Everett gallery located at the library. Ian and Natalie hosted a collaborative exhibition that featured both of their ceramic pieces and showcased their different styles. While Ian’s pieces were more lively and eccentric, Natalie focused on tranquility and fragility.
When opening up their reception, Natalie and Ian reflect on their experiences together; telling a story of their timeline together and how they developed their work. She says, “You’re seeing a show that is quite contrasting”. Ian and Natalie’s styles are vastly different: Natalie’s style so very minimalistic and detailed while Ian’s work was darker and amusing.
Natalie focused on how fragile her work can be and related to how life itself can be about pushing the boundaries. She achieves a sense of serenity and peace with how precise her work is and her very careful detail allowed for the audience to see how mesmerizing her attention to detail is. Her only 2 Dimensional work included a drawing of her chain piece also featured in the gallery, saying that the paint on it was hand-made clay paint. She says that she wanted to show that clay can be used for more than just 3 dimensional work for those who are primarily 2-D.
Ian reflected on how childhood influenced his work. Ian used Legos and other odd materials to complete his work. He says, “There are a lot of similarities between things children and adults enjoy playing with” and reflects back to when Ian and his brother used to spend time together. He brings a sense of nostalgia with his work and created a grunge like aesthetic with his work. Ian’s piece Phony is something that Ian says that “it’s weird that purple Legos are found with girls tools” and questions why there are gendered Legos when they are enjoyed by all children. So he recreated a block of Legos with clay and makes it the odd one out, making it seem obviously not like the other fine blocks.
When asked about working together, Ian says “we don’t collaborate together often” and says that their styles are completely different. However, despite the fact they have different styles, Ian says that they often look at each other’s work and be able to critique their work because they have different taste, thus giving each other a different perspective. Natalie says being married to another artist is great because “it’s nice to be with someone who speaks the same [artistic] language as you”. Their dialogue allows for growth on both parts and allows both artists to strengthen their work.