Graduating fine arts students showcase their work

Ryland Fortie and Leah Turpin show off their final projects

Leah Turpin holds up her photo of a doll’s head from above in the size it will be displayed in with the plan for the layout of her photos on the wall behind. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

Leah Turpin holds up her photo of a doll’s head from above in the size it will be displayed in with the plan for the layout of her photos on the wall behind. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

As the winter semester comes to a close, the six graduating students of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program are putting the finishing touches on their final projects. After going through several critiques, their work will be exhibited on April 22 at 7 p.m. in TRU’s art gallery.

Leah Turpin

Turpin’s medium of choice is photography. For her final project she will display a photo series that zooms in on everyday objects in her home. Through her lens, a close-up turns a plastic bag almost into something abstract.

The idea began as a class project, and Turpin has developed the work even more for her final Fine Arts assignment. After displaying her final project in the fourth-year show, Turpin is toying with the idea of doing a series with the same concept but outdoors.

Turpin has also tinkered with the aperture in her photos, making the backgrounds of her shots unclear, depriving the viewer of the context in which the textures appear and making the identity of the objects more mysterious.

“I put a lot of focus on texture and colour,” Turpin said.

Turpin’s workspace has standard-sized photos taped to the wall, ready to be shuffled and reordered on a whim. On a table she has several printouts of various sizes, ranging from the size of a magazine page to as big as a movie poster. Turpin eventually decided on a size between the two: a middle ground that blows up the photo without compromising image quality.

“I’m more confident now with choosing what to display and stuff like that,” Turpin said of her progression through the fine arts program.

Turpin was always interested in drawing and colouring as a kid, and after taking art classes in high school and realizing her love for photography, pursuing it at the post-secondary level was the natural next step.

Her plans after graduation are to get a job in the arts field and eventually get her masters, always with an emphasis on photography.

“I’d like to have these in a gallery somewhere,” Turpin said of her goals for the future.

Ryland Fortie shares a laugh with his doppelganger, a cast of his face and a piece in his final project. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

Ryland Fortie shares a laugh with his doppelganger, a cast of his face and a piece in his final project. (Marlys Klossner/The Omega)

Ryland Fortie

“I have two separate projects, one being artificial habitats including nature, commercial/industrial and virtual worlds. The other one is about human bodies interacting within this space,” Fortie said.

As a kid Fortie was always interested in art, and throughout his time at TRU he has worked in all sorts of mediums including video, sculpture, drawing and painting. Fortie’s final project pulls together different interests and concepts he’s dabbled in during his education.

One of the challenges for Fortie was that his ideas for the project were initially greater than he had the resources to complete in time for the show. Fortie would have liked to include more paintings in the show, but found his concept manifested better in sculpture for the most part.

One aspect of Fortie’s project includes sculptures adorned with dollar store items. All of Fortie’s pieces, in sculpture and painting, contrast high and low culture in a bold and colourful way. One piece has the base of a street sign bloom into a tree. Several mannequin torsos are adorned with headbands with purple fake hair attached.

“I wanted it be kind of gross, and kind of funny. Just kind of what it means to be alive right now,” Fortie said.

The biggest thing Fortie learned in his five years at TRU was how to apply art theory to his own work and be able to explain his work in more detail than “I made this because I felt like it.”

“I have a few projects in town here, and from there, I guess we’ll see. Try to get some shows, travel. I’m not going to get my masters right away, I’m going to try to live a little bit and try to make a go at this art thing,” Fortie said.