Frates: Wait with Me

Elizabeth Frates (2016) created a collection entitled “Wait with Me” as part of her senior thesis in ARTS 499 taught by Gary Bolding. In her artist statement, she explains her concept:

“This collection of paintings is inspired by the seventeenth century Dutch still life paintings, known as “little banquets.” These still life paintings depicted expensive objects like silver goblets, glass chalices, plentiful food, and hunted game. Typically, the objects in these still life paintings were not presented in a state of decay, but rather were painted to showcase the wealth of the unseen owner. With still life paintings, there is an absence of people yet evidence of their activity. Even though we don’t really reflect on it as spectators, someone has poured the wine and eaten from the baskets of fruit. This paradoxical unseen presence is important to my concept. Who is the person interacting with the objects? Is the person who poured the wine coming back to finish it? Will someone be returning or is the still life abandoned?  By including dried flowers and bones, this collection shows the objects after the still life has been finished and the moment has been recorded. Then, it becomes the waiting game of eventual decay or salvation. Just like the flowers waiting for water, many of us wait for something. It can be a phone call in a moment or perhaps something we wait a lifetime for, such as love or self-acceptance. However, we can become so fixated on waiting for a specific moment that we become frozen to the passage of time. I hope to give personality to these objects so the viewer can use these paintings as tools to project their own emotions and confront their own inevitable decay. The tradition of still life painting has decayed just like the flowers, bones, and other organic objects. With this collection, I hope the spectator reflects upon his or her own delicate temporal state.”

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