Breaking Narratives: MCA Thesis Exhibition

by - November 01, 2015

Memphis College of Art announces Breaking Narratives, the Fall 2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition, on view Nov. 16 through Dec. 12 in the Hyde Gallery of the Nesin Graduate School, 477 S. Main St. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20 from 6–9 p.m.
Breaking Narratives is a varied body of work created by five MFA candidates set to complete their degrees in December. Artists include Carrington Lemons, Annie Lynne, Gil Ngolè, Ryan Steed and Olivia Wall. The media of work ranges from photographic series to video projections, sculpture and interactive installations.
Lemons draws her inspiration from memories of pickling fruits and vegetables with her family in Cottonwood, Tenn. The idea of pickling as a means for preservation led her to create “memory jars,” which she describes as self-portraits, capturing memories from childhood that have shaped her as a person. “My work focuses on how one can take something as intangible and inconstant as a memory and capture it as a permanent physical object,” Lemons said. Lynne’s interactive installation titled “For the Dragonfly” utilizes branding strategies, social media and personal interactions, and promotional materials to explore the stigma surrounding depression and other mood disorders. “The installation takes negative phrases and thoughts which often plague individuals struggling with depression, and repurposes them into a beautiful installation,” said Lynne. Ngolè describes his sound sculpture installation as “sculptural artifacts of a journey throughout time.” His installation features two lightweight canoes suspended in air, made from PVC pipe and window screen—alluding to Ngolè’s personal experiences with forced displacement in the Republic of the Congo. Steed’s photographic series, “Went Out for Cigarettes,” is a social and cultural commentary on the South; a region he says prides itself unlike any other. “Southerners are curators without white gloves,” Steed said, “constantly witnessing things dying away, and always trying to revive them.” Wall’s three sculptural installations focus on how individuals process incomplete and inaccurate information to form conclusions—an attempt to make sense of the world around them. “This work is based on tendencies to believe that certain phenomena are related; the innate human desire to organize chaos in order to comprehend reality,” said Wall.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday noon–5 p.m., and Saturday noon–7 p.m. All MCA exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

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