Megan Wilson
This Fever I Can't Resist > Installation > Allison Uttley

My recent body of work focuses on old photographic representations of a past that is equally tangible and fleeting. I attempt to recreate once-familiar scenes by obscuring or enhancing images within them. Though this process may seem contradictory, it is this dichotomy that calls to mind the processing of memories. As if hidden by a screen, the memories are just out of reach, with only certain vignettes strong enough to feel complete.

Feelings of nostalgia can manifest either individually or collectively as historical discourse, ideologies, and memorial objects are considered. I tend to focus on the nostalgic object, be it a print, photograph, souvenir, or shrine that serves as a metonym for my own authentic experience. My current work in nostalgic imagery is a series of prints based on family photographs and pattern motifs, which further explore the historical and psychological aspects of art work that deals with reconciling the nostalgic present with the nostalgic past and future. In this work, layers are constructed with the presence of memory in the fore, without the spectacle of a “show” in Birthday Party. Familiar, banal scenes are coupled with intricate patterns and spatial exaggerations to impart an alternate reality. The new reality mirrors the difficulties of accurately recovering memories, while simultaneously reinforcing the novel memorial structures and narratives that arise from the mythical landscape.

Allison Eleanor Uttley was born in Smithfield, Rhode Island and spent the summers at the beach in Matunuck. She received her BA in Studio Art and Spanish in 2001 from Mount Holyoke College (cum laude). She is currently (2008) an MFA candidate at the University of Hawai‘i Manoa in Honolulu.Uttley is a recipient of the Skinner Fellowship Award from Mount Holyoke College in 2007 and 2008; and a Watumull Grant for Museum Studies in the Arts in 2008. Her work has been shown nationally in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and Hawai'i; and internationally in Japan.