Artist: Molly Ramage
Exhibit: Sleep Sweat
Media: Printmaking, Ink, Drawings, Paper Mache, Woodcuts, Etchings, Animation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
For this week’s artist conversation, I got to meet Molly Ramage. She is currently a third year student in the School of Art’s Printmaking program. Although she did not know much about printmaking at first, Molly took a survey class and fell in love with printmaking. She was fascinated by the fact that is was a natural way to make work. To add, she is also interested in the malleability of paper. Molly took a couple of years off school, but she has been making art for many years. Her exhibit, Sleep Sweat, consists of her personal work drawing from personal experience. Her inspirations come from these personal experience that express powerful emotions. For example, if Molly feels overwhelmed, she feels compelled to create an art work showcasing that feeling.
Molly’s exhibit consists of printmaking, drawings, ink, etchings, woodcuts, paper mache, and animation. Her work uses mainly dark colors with distorted human beings, animals, and other objects. For example, the human beings eyes and head are enlarged with skinny appendages. The backgrounds of her 2D art work are jagged and sinuous, but very detailed and smooth. Her paper mache pieces are also depict the same distortion. They appear rough with some smooth and rough edges, such as the lopsided bed. There is minimal dark colors being used in these pieces.
Molly’s exhibit expresses a nightmare. Her art work showcases the feeling and experience of having a nightmare and the effort trying to remember what those nightmares are. For her paper mache piece, a young girl is sleeping on her bed; however, there are two monsters under the bed. The bed is tilted to one side as one of the monsters is sticking it tongue out to catch the little girl’s sweat, a byproduct of having a nightmare. Molly evokes the feeling of fear and anxiety in her artwork as well as all the vagueness of the nightmare. The unclassifiable faces or landscapes that accompany those nightmares often leave us frustrated or even more scared.
I found Molly’s exhibit to be slightly chilling. As soon as I stepped into her exhibit and took a look around at her art pieces, I felt like I was in one of my own dreams as a child and even now. The emotions of the human beings, the random objects in the background that cannot be remembered, and even the beasts all encompass the feeling for having a nightmare. However, for the paper mache piece in the middle of the exhibit, I thought more of just a girl having a nightmare on her bed. With the monsters under the girl’s bed, she is able to crush them if she truly wanted to. Although we have fears, we must not let them get the best of us. They may find their way into our minds and ruin our self esteem, but we can crush those fears. With bravery and strength, we can conquer our fears and monsters. Molly’s work is dark and compelling, but her work evokes a lot of emotions. I am very pleased with her exhibit, and I hope to see her at the galleries once again.