The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) Visual Arts Gallery is proud to present “Interior Space,” an installation developed by artist Allyson Packer, and in cooperation with Springfield residents. “Interior Space”will open Thursday, July 26, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. That same night, the gallery will also feature a one-night-only multi-channel audio installation by ZW Buckley, “faith comes by hearing.” Both artists are currently in residence at the Enos Park Residency for Visual Artists and were brought to Springfield through a partnership with the UIS Visual Arts Gallery.
To create “Interior Space,” Packer asked Springfield residents to loan out objects that they “choose to hold on to, but do not keep on public display.” These items, culled from the attics, basements, and closets of Springfield, are the basis for this installation. “Interior Space” does not present objects immediately, but rather engages viewers to find the work. Assemblages incorporating the gallery’s architectural elements form a larger installation that employs hiding, revealing, and discovering as aesthetic strategies.
As viewers explore the work, they encounter spaces where the sentimental becomes strange and the overlooked becomes manifest. This experience stems from the artist’s curiosity about the intersection of the familiar and the unseen.
“Each night I sleep with my head six inches away from a room I’ve never seen,” Packer said. “It is my neighbor’s apartment, and I find this fact to be both perfectly normal and also very strange. It’s like the first time I had an X-ray and the shock I felt to see the space inside myself. My body, something nearly indistinguishable from my own personhood, was unfamiliar, and contained things that I had never seen. This project explores these emotional and physical spaces.”
“Interior Space” runs through August 11. The exhibit can be seen each Saturday from noon – 4 p.m. or by appointment.
Packer engages viewers to re-envision the boundaries of their shared spaces. She earned her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Packer has recently shown work at Nahmad Projects in London and the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she is preparing for upcoming solo exhibitions at Vitrine in Albuquerque and Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland.
Buckley’s, “faith comes by hearing” exhibit is a multi-channel audio installation exploring the themes of transience and permanence within Springfield’s Enos Park neighborhood.
Recorded through the structures that make up the community, this work translates the sounds of a lively neighborhood as heard by the buildings and objects that so often define it. Symbols of growth and transition abound as the sounds of rain storms, revivals, trains and music are filtered through lamp posts, sculptures and buildings. The resulting impression is at once both familiar and strange as the ephemeral and enduring intermingle in this unfamiliar fashion.
Buckley is an artist and composer from Normal. His work focuses on the intersection between sound, power and visibility as it relates to individuals and communities. He is an MS candidate at Illinois State University in the Program in Arts Technology.
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