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Conversations with Young Artists: [4] Grace Sneesby, PC ’19

In this series, Providence College Graduating Senior and Studio Art Major, Jessica Rogers interviews each of her fellow graduates on the occasion of their thesis exhibitions.

Is there significance to the large scale of your work, particularly your ink drawings?

I chose to work at a larger scale for the ink drawings both as a technical challenge for myself and so that the gallery installation would evoke cathedral windows. The drawings are all exactly my height, reflecting the autobiographical dimension of the exhibition.

You use a limited color palette in all of your exhibition work, with many pieces depicted in grayscale. Could you explain why as well as why you also use gold detail in the majority of your pieces?

The gold leaf is a visual reference to illuminated manuscripts, which were a prominent source of inspiration for the illustrations.

Your artwork centers around your experiences with OCD. Is there anything you learned about yourself in the process of making your thesis exhibition, or about society as a whole?

In order to make the decisions about the imagery and materials that would best convey my reality, I had to undergo a lot of self-reflection. I learned both the boundaries of what I was comfortable sharing explicitly and the limitations of trying to view myself through a more “objective” lens. The gallery opening, at which I could watch visitors engaging with such personal work, was also a unique and at times uncomfortable experience.

In the process of creating your sculptures and ink drawings, your materials, such as paper pulp and plaster, seem to represent materials you would want to physically cleanse yourself of. Was your material choice a conscious decision in your art-making process?

I wouldn’t say that these materials were representative of anything I would need to cleanse myself of. Instead, my material choices emphasized textures – I wanted to express the sensations of feeling coated or contaminated.


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