In today’s fast-paced world, sometimes it is hard to break from reality. Society is so focused on the final outcomes of life that it forgets to stop and experience the journey. With his exhibition, “Meta-forms,” artist Rickey Bump showcases that journey.

The Tipton Gallery will be hosting Bump’s “Meta-forms” exhibition beginning March 14 and ending March 25.

Growing up in Chicago, Bump has always been surrounded by the distractions of city life. Those distractions are the reason he found himself in this area. With an affinity for backcountry camping, Bump moved to East Tennessee in 2013 and is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts at ETSU. He is also teaching the Core Studio 1 at the university.

The art featured in “Meta-forms” is a cohesive body of works that have been in progress for the past three years. Through exploration, research and hard work, Bump has an exhibition to be proud of.

“Art is about our connection to materials,” Bump said.

For “Meta-forms,” he worked with roofing sheet metal and dry erase boards. Through manipulation of the metal and the carving of the boards, Bump seeks to show the materials’ relation to the human persona.

“In ‘Meta-forms,’ I exposed the underlying nature of the material,” Bump said. “Using ordinary, industrial material is a way to digest the world around me.”

Through his art in “Meta-forms,” Bump delves into the internal and external ways of living. The external is the shine of the metal or the gloss of the board, being the persona we put on for others. Once Bump manipulated and carved the metal and boards, it exposed the raw beauty of the material. Like humans, scratching through the shiny coatings and facade, it revealed the inner self, which is often hidden from society.

Bump’s view of art is different from most. While proud of the final product, his joy comes from the process of creating his pieces. Unlike most, Bump is not simply seeking an end game.

“It’s a meditative experience,” Bump said. “It’s about my connection with myself and the material.”

Through trial and error, Bump had learned that the best way to allow his creativity to shine is to stop thinking and get to it. When beginning “Meta-forms,” Bump started with wood panels but was not happy with the outcome. Through experimentation, he found that dry erase boards worked much better. Bump said that he usually just tries to see what works and what does not.

Bump said creativity is much harder when you are trying.

With scars covering his hands, it’s obvious that Bump is extremely passionate about his work and is very proud of what he has created.

With “Meta-forms” Bump wants to take observer back to the basics of life. Using simple material to create his art, observers can see how beautiful and complex simplicity can be.

“Meta-forms” will be featured at the Tipton Gallery throughout March. At 6 p.m. Friday, Bump will host his exhibition opening, and there will be a reception to follow.

To view his exhibition at a later date, Tipton Gallery is open Thursdays from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. or by appointment.


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