Unity and Difference – a perfect description of Janiece Murray’s current exhibition is captured within the title of the show. In the many pieces by the Salt Lake City artist displayed at Finch Lane Gallery, close inspection leads to great rewards. Each of her designs, while incredibly different in color, pattern, and rhythm, has at its core the same motif.
In her artist statement, available at the gallery, Murray says, “Each one of these designs is created from a pattern begun with a circle. The circle is a symbol of unity but it can also be the beginning of thousands of geometric designs.” Murray has capitalized on the opportunities that are presented to her by way of circles. Although, upon closer inspection, the same shapes can be seen in each of the many pieces that are presented, each has its own life and characteristics.
In the piece titled “XVIII,” light, gradient triangles are brought to the forefront through the careful application of color. In another piece, “Imperfect,” multicolored pinwheels take center stage. Just beside it, in a piece simply titled “I,” blue hexagons sit in the center of other hexagons. Each new piece is an opportunity for the viewer to interact with the pattern in a different way, creating a multitude of diverse patterns through different colors, applied to different parts of the geometric designs.
Murray has skillfully been able to capture a unique range of opportunities that she created through her use of traditional drafting tools, and, in her artist statement, draws a striking comparison. “Within the human race there are billions of individuals with the same basic make up and yet no two people are exactly the same.” Through her art, she has captured an essential truth, that the same basic forms do not have to lead to the same outcome, and that each new composition can be unique, while still holding onto a common thread of unity.
Murray’s pieces will be on display at Finch Lane Gallery, Salt Lake City, through Sept. 22. Gallery Stroll receptions Aug. 18 and Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m.
Andrea Wall is a graduate of Southern Utah University with a BA in Creative Writing, and minors in both Ceramics and Theatre Arts. She completed an honors thesis that focused on the synthesis of literature and ceramics. She plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in ceramics, and to work as a studio artist and writer.