Picasso had his blue period. Yves Klein was consumed with ultramarine. For artist Chloe Irla, it has been one particularly ironic shade of orange that has blazed large in her mind.
Some of the works created in response to this will soon be available to view in Irla’s gallery show, titled “The Hunter and the Hunted: Made to Measure,” in the Rice Gallery at McDaniel College from Thursday, Aug. 30 to Friday, Sept. 28.
A free opening reception will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Irla will give an artist’s talk at 6 p.m.
She is quoted in a news relase from the college, saying, “My goal with this exhibition is to present viewers with a variety of methods and materials that communicate the essentials of ‘The Hunter and The Hunted’ while also acknowledging the history of the Rice Gallery space.”
Pieces in the show include large scale quilts made from hunting and camping textiles, lenticular prints, projected animated GIFs and a window installation.
Irla’s materials are diverse and chosen specifically. Traditional craft like quilt making mixes in with modern forms like the GIF that represent the expanded boundaries of the modern gallery space.
“The versatile, utilitarian materials employed in these works are rich with purposes and possibilities outside of the realm of art,” she said. “Most of these materials were manufactured for use in a domestic setting or outdoors, a juxtaposition of indoors vs. outdoors that I find intriguing.”
“The Hunter and the Hunted” is part a larger project.
“Blaze breakers,” the larger project, is a “years-long investigation of the color blaze orange called ‘Blaze Breakers,’ ” Irla said. “I was introduced to this color while residing in rural Maine, where residents of the small town that I lived in were advised to wear blaze orange vests when spending time outdoors during the hunting seasons. Through my continued research and development over the years, ‘Blaze Breakers’ has sub-divided into other series of work”
“The Hunter and the Hunted” is a chapter within this larger work.
“This chapter began with an exploration of the semiotics of hunting textiles, particularly camouflage patterns,” she said.
The blaze orange vests meant to communicate with other hunters are juxtaposed against the camouflage meant to cloak hunters from animals.
“‘The hunter’ and ‘the hunted’ in these works can be interpreted metaphorically to communicate general themes such as in/visibility, dis/appearance, and honesty: camouflage is an illusion, a visible lie, so is blaze orange truthful?” she asks
Elements found in the show at Rice Gallery are “a foundation” to the rest of Irla’s series.
She states that “light, warmth, surface, measurement, visibility, organization, transformation, honesty, history, and time” are the essential elements and principals at play in the work.
“Most of the projects included in this show were created specifically for the Rice Gallery and are grounded in both institutional and personal memories: I was a McDaniel College student from 2005-2007 and am now a full-time faculty member,” she said.
She nods at the space’s history as the college’s former library, and states “for the duration of this exhibition, [it] serves as a library for this body of work.”
As an assistant professor of art at McDaniel, Irla teaches digital art and design courses. She is an alumna of the college where she earned her undergraduate degree in 2007.
In Baltimore, she “maintains an interdisciplinary studio practice grounded in both traditional and alternative approaches to painting,” according to the release.
More information about Irla’s work is available at www.chloe-irla.com/home.html
The show is presented through the McDaniel College Department of Art and Art History.
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Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. The gallery can be reached at 410-857-2595.