Laurie Sloan discusses her artwork at the Benton

 Laurie Sloan gives a presentation at the Benton discussing themes and inspiration behind her artwork. Students and staff then ask her about her motivation and the meaning behind specific pieces. (Brandon Barzola/The Daily Campus)

Laurie Sloan gives a presentation at the Benton discussing themes and inspiration behind her artwork. Students and staff then ask her about her motivation and the meaning behind specific pieces. (Brandon Barzola/The Daily Campus)

Laurie Sloan gave a presentation to a plethora of students and staff to discuss some of the themes and inspirations behind her artwork, in a chronological order of when these pieces were made, on Thursday afternoon at the Benton Museum. Her most recent art was featured in the Benton’s 52nd Annual Studio Art Faculty Exhibition.

Sloan’s work focuses heavily on the mystery surrounding natural events and illustrating that which is equivocal from a biological viewpoint. Much of her work details animals and explores the ideas of various working parts in an image.

With work ranging from as early as 2000, Sloan’s art is primarily made from cut paper, archival inkjet prints and screenprints. Its abstract features include a variety of colors and tiny pieces but often incorporate many subliminal messages that the audience wouldn’t see at a first glance.

“They seem very stagnant to us as the viewers, but they’re actually moving in the artwork,” first-semester exploratory major Julia Fieldman said.

Sloan’s explanation of her art helped clarify and reveal some of the themes and messages that appear in her work, some of which can apply to the outside world as opposed to being restricted to her art alone.

“I would not have understood the deeper meaning unless I had heard all of her reasons behind what she put on the paper and what they actually meant to her in that context,” Anna Shugrue, a first-semester French major, said.

“I liked learning about all the different techniques that she’s used to make all of her artwork,” Fieldman added. “That helped me to understand more about where she was coming from when she was explaining everything.”

There was a heavy focus on the natural world. She explained that some of her inspiration came from different kinds of wood and the scientific diagrams of animals, including anatomy and cross-sections. A lot of her work features the basic parts of animals pieced together to form a bigger picture for the audience.

“There’s definitely a presence to it, like it’s looking back at you, which is not easy to achieve,” Stella Kozloski, a first-semester visual art and illustration major, said. “You look at it and at first you think it’s a bunch of scattered bits of paper, and then suddenly you realize that’s a mouse, that’s part of a crow...and you slowly realize that everything is a part of something.”

Sloan assembles her pieces in an unconventional way that adds new meaning and ideas to her art. She mentioned that it sticks out to her audience in a way that showcases its own containment.

“You can think of that and relate that to humans because I feel like a lot of humans seem very contained in life,” Fieldman explained.


Brandon Barzola is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at brandon.barzola@uconn.edu. He tweets @brandonbarzola.