Primary Polyethylene.

The “Primary Polyethylene” show case was apart of the Krause Gallery in Lawrence Hall at the University of Oregon. The main purpose of the gallery was to “deeper explore the wonders of the imaginative and colorful landscapes of childhood.” To begin, I want to break down the title of the exhibit “Primary Polyethylene.” The word “Primary” means  “of chief importance; principal,” and “Polyethylene” is a “tough, light, flexible synthetic resin” that is used to make things like plastic bags. Now that the name of the exhibit is better defined, It makes understanding the art much easier, in which the majority of the things from our childhood was made from this synthetic material, thus making it the primary substance from our youth. Each piece was composed of this plastic-like material, along with other substances like felt and cotton. The exhibit gave off an 80’s vibe, which suited the materials well. The patterns used along with the texture of the art pieces brought back instant memories from my childhood. I think what I liked most about this exhibit were the use of colors and textures in each piece.

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A piece I thought looked like giant “Pixie Stix” by Ariel Stach.

Moreover, The simplicity of the art was a perfect representation of the state we are in as children. For instance, there was one piece (pictured above) that looked like a bunch of huge pixie sticks. I’m not quite sure if that was what the artist was trying to convey, but she fulfilled her purpose, in which  my first thought was one about my childhood when I looked at it.  It took me back to a time where my only worries were getting all the sugar out of the little plastic tubes, a time that was stress-free in all reality. To add, every piece withheld its own unique “weirdness.” There was a piece in the exhibit that was literally just a canvas painted in yellow (not pictured), and directly to the right there was a large textured canvas that was drenched in yellow glitter (pictured below). I found this particularly interesting because the use of the color yellow drew me back to my earlier education days. I immediately thought of a yellow school bus, a ruler, or a yellow desk used in grade school. It was an exhilarating feeling of being in the past again, in my youth were nothing made sense, but all at the same time everything made sense just like this exhibit.

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A Piece by Ariel Stach.

Moving on, throughout the exhibit there was an odd fire-hydrant looking thing that was spilling out this “Polyethylene” material in all sorts of colors. This particular art piece reminded me of the days in gym class when I was in elementary school, when we would play with the giant parachute, the one where everyone would lift it up and then go under and tuck it under your butt. The “fire hydrant” was lit up as if it was a time machine that was spilling out items from our childhood. I genuinely enjoyed this piece because my adult mind associated it with a fire hydrant, but if I were to think like a child I would think of it as an imaginary friend. An imaginary friend that was made up from an inanimate object and then brought to life. Overall I really enjoyed the youthful tone the gallery set off. It made me think of my childhood in depth, and it pushed my mind to  explore the imaginative landscapes of childhood as an adult, which was an interesting experience.

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The piece I though looked like a “Fire hydrant Time Machine” by Ariel Stach and Luna Sansone.


4 thoughts on “Primary Polyethylene.

  1. Lola Butcher

    I loved this exhibit! I went and saw it recently and thought it was very abstract in a great way! Your article did a great job at highlighting all of the main points and the aspects of the exhibit. Nicely done!

  2. Andrew Johnson

    This is a super interesting exhibit. I have always found the artistic exploration of childhood to be both interesting revealing. I would love to check out this exhibition soon.


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