As I turned the corner in Wilson Commons to enter the Hartnett Gallery ? I now know where it is ? I was bombarded with women’s breasts. Granted, it was a photograph, but it shocked me nonetheless.

This photograph, entitled “icetop,” is just one of the digitally produced, photo-based works in Sue Lloyd’s exhibit “searchworks.”

Overall, there are ten pieces on display. In addition to the fact that they were all created in the year 2000, they all share common themes. First, all the pieces separate the top and bottom halves, each representing a different world.

The top half is characterized by light and air, and the bottom is set far beneath the water’s surface. The upper world usually possesses slightly ambiguous male figures in rowboats holding lanterns. The lower halves of the pieces are more complex.

Each has a female character, wearing varying degrees of swimwear ? meaning some are completely naked. While some women look as if they are struggling for air, others are simply body parts, their faces hidden.

The most compelling photo, “night/storm,” depicts a woman lying on the seafloor with her eyes closed. Although one might presume that she is dead, oxygen bubbles are still being released from her nose.

Apparently, the upper and lower halves of the works are supposed to connect somehow. Although this is not overwhelmingly obvious in many of the pieces, it is very clear in “line.”

In this photo Lloyd has the same tube in the mouth of her top and bottom subjects. Furthermore, in all of the works, the expression of the top subject seems a reaction to the actions of the bottom subject, despite the fact that she cannot be seen.

For example, in “monster,” a triptych, which is a work composed of three panels, the lower subject is just a massive female body. This creature gives the observer the impression of a Giant Squid or other mysterious organism of the deep.

Although the men cannot possibly see the woman underwater, in each panel, the males are leaning over the boat in pursuit of a discovery.

The upper half of each painting seems to be more in focus than the bottom. This was particularly apparent in the last work, “twilight.” Although it wasn’t very intricate, the colors expressed were magnificent.

The characteristics of the paintings may have implications concerning women’s issues. I suddenly realized that the men were always on the top and in focus.

I wondered why the women were underwater, appearing to be gasping their last breaths. While my inquiry may or may not possess any merit, I did enjoy the exhibit. The photos were slightly strange, but quite aesthetically pleasing.

According to sophomore student employee, Jasmine Behrend, the exhibit was quite popular ? it drew in about 60 people on its first day. The exhibit will be at the Hartnett Gallery in Wilson Commons from April 15 through May 11.

Rehani can be reached at mreyhani@campustimes.org.



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