Art Faculty

Elizabeth Bryant
Studio Arts Facuty (Photography)

Elizabeth Bryant

My current installation project uses architectural elements from the classical Chinese gardens of Suzhou along with generic scenic imagery as a framework for examining visual perception. The intricate designs of the tracery windows that pierce the white walls of these Chinese gardens are used to activate the relationships between inside/outside, adjoining/distant, light/shadow and pattern/form.

Here Not Here uses the elaborate patterns of these tracery windows as a template for collages made of cut photographs on mirror. The subject matter of the collages is influenced by the fundamental Chinese principles of yin and yang in which opposites are brought into harmonious inter-relationship. These collages are hung on a composite of scenic murals that wraps the gallery walls and depicts a series of waterfalls, streams and ponds from a variety of locations and perspectives.

The viewer's motion through the exhibition space generates constantly shifting views and levels of visual information between the scenic murals, the collages and the reflections of the gallery environment. These fluctuating views accentuate the viewer's present position in the gallery while simultaneously referring to the illusion of space in the photographic imagery and the mirrors as well as the actual Chinese garden in which the original tracery windows exist.

The complexity of this visual experience relates closely to the goals of classical Chinese garden designers. Within the confines of the garden walls they strive to represent the powerful forces and perpetual transformations of nature by presenting constantly changing views and surprising and often disconcerting combinations of elements.