Keep on the Sunny Side
Mallory Uchalik (BA 2016)
I’m fascinated by both the structure and functionality of anatomy, be that the anatomy of a human, a kumquat, or an idea. For this piece, I wanted to not only study an element of our physical makeup, but also explore the concept of power in our lives. It’s easy for a hand to crush something as delicate as an eggshell, just as it’s easy for people in power to have an effect on those less influential than themselves. The notion that one entity can have such a measurable impact on another’s well-being is an idea that some, or at least I, can struggle to know how to respond to. A visceral reaction may be to feel beaten and broken. However, from these emotions, we can make the choice to either wallow, or use them as fodder to gain the poise and courage to resist. I hoped that the image would not only portray power’s might or the feeling of defeat that can go along with it, but also simultaneously depict the choice that can be made to tenaciously fight back in a productive, positive manner.
This work is featured as part of Future Former: An Exhibition of Alumni Work. This exhibition honors the creative work and careers of all Stamps School alumni, creates an aspirational connection between generations of U-M artists and designers and current Stamps students, and inspires reflection during the university's Bicentennial year.