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'Perception & Passage' is a glimpse into process, transformation

August 26, 2011

MFA student Elise Deringer sees a connection "between filters, containers and the idea of a permeable, indefinable border as a place where opposing states (and states of mind) come together and become something new."  

Deringer, currently studying in ASU's fibers program, is a textile-based sculptor and her work will be on display in an MFA Thesis Exhibition titled "Perception & Passage" from Sept. 6 to 16, at the Harry Wood Gallery, in the School of Art, part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

The opening reception is scheduled to take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sept. 6, at the gallery. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

"Perception is an act of seeing and discerning, becoming aware, and interpreting," Deringer writes on her website in regard to the exhibition. "Passage can be defined as an excerpt, a journey, a place to move through: not a beginning or an end, but a process of finding the way. This work serves as a passage – plucked from a larger narrative as a record of a few small steps on a long path, and left open for understanding."

Examining truths about continuity and transformation, Deringer asks if the transformation of objects are similar to the transformation of self, and what truths and conflicting desires exist? She says her work has evolved to examine the preserve/discard relationship from multiple directions.

"I work with sand, stones, and concrete often as materials that filter through, are contained within, or permeate the textile boundary (respectively) and serve as foils to the transparent silk net and organza I have used throughout my thesis work," says Deringer, who received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2005. "Essentially, I am trying to understand the simultaneous conflicting desire: to hold onto and let go of something, someone, a place, an idea."

In line with her show about transforming ideas, Deringer says her work has really changed over the past few years. While she always was interested in textiles and textile materials in her sculptural work, it wasn't until she started graduate school that she began utilizing cloth and thread and surface design as fundamental elements of her studio practice.

"I became really interested in the potential for silk – beautiful and precious, yet incredibly strong and resilient," she says. "It has a luminous and slightly intangible quality that appealed to the sensibility and ideas I was starting to think about."

"Perception & Passage" will be on display at the Harry Wood Gallery, Sept. 6-16.