Jessica Clarke and Dylan Overheim have been working under Professor Craig Cully for several semesters. Professor Cully describes their work in the following manner:
Jessica Clarke’s work takes a decidedly close look at the human body, or parts thereof, as a means of exposing our shared human vulnerabilities. Jessica generates large-scale charcoal drawings the subject of which are up close and personal depictions of body parts that celebrate individual physical anomalies, one we typically find too embarrassing to be seen or otherwise to off-putting to reveal, that are as unusual as they are common. The works’ scale and microscopic attention to detail result in what may initially appear to audiences as abstract forms that slowly reveal themselves as to what they really are — flipped eyelids, twisted tongues, and other such physiological aberrations that we often only perform in the bathroom mirror alone.
Dylan Overhiem’s paintings are a powerful statement about the effects and personal implications of mental illness. His work expresses the sensation of cognitive distress but also illustrates the impact it has on those who suffer from it. Through his use of himself as the suffering protagonist in a series of highly realistic paintings, Overheim is able to depict, first-hand, the emotional and psychological toll that comes from disorders such as extreme social anxiety, metal depression and suicidal thoughts. What moves this body of work beyond the mere representation of these states of being are the various techniques Dylan employs to more abstractly embody theses sensations.
Overhiem has also included a more recent series of paintings in this exhibition that portray haunting everyday scenes from our COVID ridden society. Empty tables caged in by fencing at a restaurant, vacant yards strewn with billowing trash cans and the gloved grip of a person simply pumping gas. All this work is created with a layering method Dylan invented that results in the appearance of these images pealing apart, simultaneously expressing the violent anxiety of our times and the hidden dangers that may lurk beneath every surface.
Jessica Clarke creates large scale renderings, originally centering her work around relationships that have helped cultivate her passion for art and self-reflection.
The invisible concept of the inner workings of the human brain and the way we perceive ourselves drives the subtle twists of Overheim’s work while keeping them grounded in a reality.