Migration Patterns

2014 Senior Art Showcase

Carissa Knipe


This body of work is primarily about metaphor and exploring the authority and effects of labels. With these pieces I hope to encourage thought about how labels are assigned and how the appearance of scientific authority affects that process. Hopefully the incongruity of each image and its corresponding text intrigues the viewer enough to stop to think about the connection.

The connotations of authority that come with the historical format of botanical illustration are meant to imply how the subjectivity of assigning labels is often hidden behind quasi-scientific presentation styles. Our world is consistently filled with subjective labels being presented as objective, and I want to get viewers to identify this, question the deeper meanings behind those labels, and draw their own conclusions about their appropriateness.

Another aspect of this piece is my own commentary on why the label I assigned to each illustration is appropriate. I enjoy coming up with (what I think are) playful but somewhat meaningful metaphors for how I see the world. My reasoning for the metaphors is in a location that is available to the viewer, but is not immediately apparent, so the viewer can formulate their own interpretation before seeing the intended one. This allows them to approach my interpretation more critically, but also to treat the initial labeling rationale as a sort of discovery, as it seems that in real life reasons for labels are often not as apparent or publicized as the existence of the labels themselves.