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Archives: Taylor Greenfield

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About the Exhibit

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Artist Statement

With longstanding roles in both ancient and contemporary folklore, animals are time-honored symbols of human traits and emotions. An animal's ability to physically articulate aspects of the human persona, as well as retain its own volatile wildness, has been employed by cultures the world over for centuries. This type of anthropomorphism not only deepens a narrative, it calls attention to how easily we humans see fragments of ourselves in creatures otherwise deemed dumb beasts. By demonstrating how certain elements of emotion and character straddle the fence between species, it is possible for facets of both human and animal behavior to become more intelligible.

There can be, however, a certain revulsion at the idea that animals might be capable of manners or expressions similar to our own. By maintaining that any parallels are purely fictive in nature, we dissolve the possibility that, instead of animals sharing our qualities, we may mirror some of theirs. But acknowledging human characteristics in non-humans does not lessen our uniqueness; it is this ability to recognize parts of our selves in other living beings that is an important marker of our own human-ness.

This body of work explores the potential ties between animal characteristics and human nature. Each drawing, done with graphite and watercolor washes, is comprised of two figures: a larger animal and a smaller human. This size imbalance is an effort to even the playing field in a world which humans so often assume the dominant role: the world of the ethereal, of intelligence, of the feeling. This pairing develops into a visual narrative - a mythos born from a fervent interest in animal biology and the qualities and principles we can, or cannot, claim as our own.

About the Artist

From June 26 - July 24, the Calvin College Department of Art and Art History presents "Interfluent" an exhibition by Taylor Greenfield at the (106) South Division Gallery.

Greenfield graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2007 and has continued to develop her body of work. In this exhibtion, she "explores the potential ties between animal characteristics and human nature. Each drawing, done with graphite and watercolor washes, is comprised of two figures: a larger animal and a smaller human. This size imbalance is an effort to even the playing field in a world which humans so often assume the dominant role: the world of the ethereal, the world of intelligence, the world of the feeling."