The Lory Student Center is a place to study, snack and chat. But, if you look a little closer, it will reveal itself as place of art appreciation. The work of artists Davana Robedee and Shelby Shadwell come together and play off each other in the LSC’s Curfman Gallery presentation of “Divergence of Light.”
The artists differ in their practices and mediums but are united by the use of light and subject matter. Robedee’s work consists of sculpture type creations and Shadwell’s consists of large charcoal drawings.
LSC Arts Director Doug Sink said both artists use light in very different ways.
“So much of Devana’s work deals with light, and the way light is seen in the art work and how light interacts with the objects she’s making,” Sink said. “(In Shadwell’s work,) the light and the dark push against one another to create such vivid imagery.”
Each artist uses their work to display a part of their personal journey, as well as convey a thought or message they have encountered.
For Shadwell, producing his pieces, which are inspired by horror films and books, allowed him to interact with his anxieties. His drawings mimic the interaction between the attraction and the repulsion displayed in horror films.
“I really enjoy horror movies and science fiction, and they have had a tremendous impact on me,” Shadwell said. “I look at my own fears and anxieties, and then I look at something like a horror film. I am both attracted to it and repulsed by it at the same time.”
Inspiration for the cockroach and spider drawings came from a fear of bugs that traces back to Shadwell’s childhood. He carried out the insect drawings by photographing them in person and using his photos as references for his up-close and detailed creations.
Shadwell said expressing anexities through art has not eliminated them but impacted how he views them.
“It has given me a new appreciation of these anxieties, and I think about them in a different way,” Shadwell said.
Like Shadwell, Robedee’s work encompasses personal experinces.
“My experiences drive the creation of the work, but once it is created, it has a life of it’s own,” Robedee said.
Robedee said her work serves as a metaphor for the connection between consciousness and the body.
“It is a visual metaphor for the idea that the human body itself is a wormhole in space where our consciousness is flowing in from another place,” Robdee said. “Information such as light is exchanged across this imperceptible plane (the glass), but the living and breathing body is on the other side, unable to cross, but dependent on the glass’s surface to exist.”
Robedee said she used plastic sheeting, glue, mylar, lights, fans and micro-controllers to give life to her creation.
“In creatures such as this, they exude light, and when they die, they no longer glow,” Robedee said. “I found that to be a very beautiful visual example of the vitality of life and how it inhabits matter.”