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“nothing and done” opens at Smith Gallery

From Feb. 11 to Feb. 23, the Smith Gallery will host “nothing and done” by Sophie Doddimeade ’21 and Clara Dingle ’21. The exhibit focuses on the medium of paper, unconventional uses of organic materials and metal sculpture-work, filling Smith Gallery with art in various neutral tones.

Suspended triangular sculptures that Doddimeade made out of metal rods greet visitors at the entrance to the gallery.

“I took sculpture last semester and I made those triangle things,” said Doddimeade. She has a larger display of the rods in the basement of art house. “I kind of like them because they take up space and you can do whatever you want to them and they take on something new.”

Farther into the gallery Dingle presents a series of inks that she made last semester.

“They’re all made of natural things and one is my blood since I injured myself,” Doddimeade said. Dingle created inks out of foods from the Dining Hall.

“Spinach and onion are really disgusting [as inks],” she said. “They smell, and they’re sticky, also.”

Some of Dingle’s inks were easier to make than others.

“For most of them I just mushed things up, cooked them, strained them, then cooked them some more,” she said. “For the berries they were already pigmented enough so I didn’t have to cook them.”

There are paper towels on display along with Dingle’s inks. The paper towels were used in cleaning up the inks, and sometimes they dried in intricate patterns that Dingle hadn’t expected. This was one of the many unexpected results of the ink-making process, along with molding that Dingle tried to combat with white vinegar.

“I don’t quite know if it worked,” she said.

Doddimeade and Dingle collaborated in a few of the displays. Doddimeade used Dingle’s inks to draw detailed representations of mushrooms.

The back wall of the gallery is covered in intricately folded paper, with sheets of different folding styles pinned next to each other to create a textured effect akin to egg crate foam.

“The paper is a fun fold that I learned in high school and I was like, ‘Sophie, I think this would be fun to do in the show,’” Dingle said.

Both artists worked on the paper folding for the back wall and the paper triangular pyramids hanging in the corner of the room while Doddimeade had the idea to create the pyramid sculptures.

“I like sculpture and I like 3D work and the folding paper,” she said. “Doing that made me think of other things you can do with paper, so I was like, ‘it would be cool if I could made weird shapes out of paper, because you know paper is so fun.’”

While studio art majors usually hold a solo show in Smith Gallery in their fourth year of Grinnell, Dingle and Doddimeade are getting a head start; Dingle is a declared studio art major while Doddimeade is an intended major.

“I didn’t want to wait until fourth year to do it,” Doddimeade said. “[But] I didn’t have enough to do a show alone.” Collaborating with Dingle to produce a joint show worked perfectly.

Hanging their work in the Gallery was a somewhat challenging experience for the two artists as students are required to complete their own installation.

“There were already hooks in the ceiling, thankfully,” Doddimeade said. The metal triangles are held up with the hooks, and everything else has pushpins. “They do not go in easy, I hammered them in, now my push-pins are all falling out. Slowly.”

Sophie Doddimeade and Clara Dingle, both ’21, present their show “nothing and done” from Feb. 11 to Feb. 23 at the Smith Gallery. Photo by Shabana Gupta.
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