John Wesley Honors College

How to Interrogate Paintings: Episode Confessing Unity

Confessing Unity Pic

by Ren Martin, John Wesley Scholar, Class of 2014

Craig Hawkins’ gallery show Confessing Unity explores questions and encourages you as the viewer to ask your own. The show is a mix of recognizable images with abstract connections. What should you be thinking about as you go to see this show? Here are some suggestions for you to begin engaging with the artwork.

How does the medium effect the message? In other words, what materials has the artist used to add to the idea? In some pieces Hawkins uses thick paint, while in others, he uses very thin, watery pigments. Some pieces are printed on paper, while others on hard, fractured surfaces. How does the medium change your understanding of the questions being asked? What is being emphasized?

How does the order and placement of the pieces effect the overall idea of the exhibit? Why are some similar images grouped together while others beside dissimilar pieces?

Within the individual images what dissimilar things have been grouped together? What do paper airplanes have to do with hymns? What does color have to do with our heads?

In all of the pieces the figure’s head is obscured. What could this be saying about the people in the images? What could it be saying about you?

Some of the pieces incorporate words. How do the words in the title change your understanding of the image? How do the words in the image effect your understanding of the title?

Curious to form your own conclusions?

Ready to ask your own questions based on those conclusions?

Confessing Unity is open until February 4th at the Beard Arts Center Gallery, so make sure to see it before it closes!


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