“Imprint,” a video art exhibit by ETSU artist and professor Travis Graves, is the newest addition to the Reece Museum’s gallery. In the exhibit, Graves sets out to focus on deriving beauty and meaning from the surrounding landscape.
“The title of the exhibit is ‘Imprint’, and I see several metaphors at work within it,” Graves said. “There is the obvious imprint on the landscape from our industrial sized needs. Roads are cut through mountains, radio and cell towers dot mountaintops, and power lines stretch through trees.”
When the observer walks through the exhibit, their shadow becomes a part of the video display thereby “imprinting” upon the landscape that is being projected on the wall. This is perhaps symbolic of humans, nature and the ever-changing and complicated relationship between the two.
The scenic landscape around ETSU has also had an impact on Graves’ art.
“As a transplant from the flatness of the Midwest, I find the Appalachian landscape to be iconic and unique,” Graves said. “I seek to explore and interact with it every chance I get and find that it helps to form and define the relationship with the world I live in.”
The camera angle of the display will occasionally pan back and forth to reveal more of the landscape – the sun shining on the lake and the shadows of the bodies occupying the space.
“There are also the not so obvious impressions [in the exhibit], such as the manmade Watauga lake, or roadside lookouts for sightseeing,” Graves said. “Likewise, there is the imprint of the viewer on the landscape as they walk into the projection. At times the figures obscure the landscape, at other times they become part of it.”
Graves likes to work with natural materials but is eager to work with video as a way to examine and critique the relationship between humans and nature.
“Imprint” will be available to view in the Reece Museum until May 3. For more information visit http://www.etsu.edu/cas/cass/reece/ or call 423-439-4392.