University of the Ozarks senior art major Amanda Rose Fields doesn't have to look long or far for her inspirations. She has eight of them she sees daily.
Fields, an art major and secondary education minor from Mulberry, Ark., will present her Senior Art Exhibit, "Huge Sweet Mess," from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 in the Stephens Gallery. There will be a reception to meet Fields from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, in the gallery.
Fields, who will do a teaching internship during the spring semester before graduating in May, said she has drawn inspiration for her artwork from raising her eight children. She feels her work represents the joys and struggles of being a parent.
"Being a mother of eight, I have witnessed thousands of sweet messes my sweet children have made," Fields said. "Sometimes they are small, but to a stressed mommy they appear huge. Over time I have learned instead of getting upset, I should just find humor in my children’s disorder. I now look to their untidiness for inspiration in my artwork."
Fields creates her installation pieces out of plaster and found objects. She also uses the technique of slip casting with molds to make multiples of her works. These exemplify her many children and their numerous messes. She also includes humor, bright colors, and exaggerated size into her works of art. In her work she likes to capture the fleeting moments of her children’s untidiness.
Senior art major Amanda Fields’ installation, "The Five Second Rule" will be a part of her Senior Art Exhibit, "Huge Sweet Mess," showing in the Stephens Gallery from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6.
"I design my installations pieces as different mini-settings to make the viewer feel as if they have just stepped into the disarray my children have made," Fields said. "I also emphasize the scale of my installation pieces. I exaggerate the scale of my art to make the disorder seem even more chaotic. For example, in my installation titled, "Oops," I have created a giant bowl of cereal. I was inspired to create this work when I caught my daughter attempting to make a bowl of cereal. One morning I walked into my kitchen and found her sitting on the floor in a pool of milk. She had spilled a whole gallon of milk and she had cereal stuck all over her hair. At first I was upset, because I knew I would have to clean up the huge mess. As I was cleaning the mess I began to think about how funny it would be to preserve this memory in an art form. I then decided to look to my children’s mishaps with snacks as inspiration in my art."
A common theme throughout Fields’ installations is her use of plaster.
"I used silicone molds to cast some of my pieces out of plaster," she said. "I also made molds out of plaster and then used the technique of slip casting. Molds are a useful way to make multiples of objects. I made multiples in my pieces because I feel it expresses how many messes I clean up every day. The multiples also represent the multiple children I have."
Fields, who plans to teach art in schools after graduating from Ozarks, said her artwork also draws inspiration from artist Claus Oldenburg as well as the Pop Art movement.
"I like the exaggerated size of Oldenburg’s work and his use of everyday objects, found in unusual places," Fields said. "Pop Art was my motivation to use primary and secondary colors. These bright colors are found on almost all children toys and candy. I feel the vivid colors draw the audience into feeling like a child again."