Student Spotlight: _mind’s eye. by Juliana Kusyk

The current exhibition in the Gallery of Student Art (GoSA) is quite unlike any architectural body of work I’ve ever seen before. So, when I met up with Juliana Kusyk to discuss her show—GoSA’s first of the 2012-13 year—I was surprised to find out that _mind’s eye. is work she had completed as an undergrad in Architecture, and is now working on her master’s degree.

The gallery walls are filled with digital artworks and photographs in wooden, vintage frames that are painted gold. A large draft for a building made of bones, entitled “Queensboro Hybrid Couture House Elevation,” is centered on the main wall and a bone table with teacups is the focal point of the room in front of it.

“[I had been doing a lot of work] with armatures [and I had designed] a fashion couture house that was built out of bones. I had a lot of bones to look at and analyze – so when the table project came around it [all came together]. When you look at the drawing and look at the table, it seems like it [should be a part of it],” says Kusyk.

The table, topped with a gold teapot and stand for cream and sugar, takes the abject material of animal bones and makes them into something delicate and beautiful. The piece talks a lot about the relationship of constructing out of bone – the teacups nestled into the dips and curves of the table are made out of bone themselves.

“[The table] is about intimacy, and the more I worked with the bones I developed a [relationship with them]. I sanded each one for about ten to fifteen hours and had to polish them. A tea party is such a delicate ritual that is already defined [as intimate],” says Kusyk.

“I’ve developed an obsession with the baroque and the ornate,” Kusyk laughs, “and gold, I like gold.”

The remainder of Kusyk’s show is documentation of her ambitious experiments with materials. The piece “The Omniverse” is a series of photos of a shiny, crystal-like object filled with brilliant bright colours. The light bouncing off its surface makes shadows on its white backdrop that seem to contain lightning.

“[The Omniverse was an assignment to] section an object and redesign it, and I wanted to dissect the universe – like parallel universes,” says Kusyk. “I made it out of gelatin and stuck objects in it – [like beads and foam to contribute to its texture].”

_mind’s eye. is a must see for any aspiring architecture student – or fine art student. It displays a wide array of unconventional art materials and shows the value of experimentation. The exhibition will be in GoSA until Oct. 5.


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