By Jacob Schaub
The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery in the Sharadin Arts Building is currently hosting the work of Artist in Residence, Hannah Bertram. Bertram is an Australian artist whose work is made by carefully arranging dust and other such residue into intricate patterns that spread across the floor.
Entering the gallery, you will be greeted by Bertram’s drawings can be seen hanging on the walls.
Continuing through the exhibit, two pedestals covered in vials of dust are arranged and labeled. The dust Bertram uses comes from vacuum cleaners, Australia, Norway and Sharadin’s own art studios. The dust makes up Bertram’s palette of color and texture.
In the main section of the gallery, you will be greeted by Bertram’s painstaking pieces: a careful arrangement of patterns both traditional and contemporary.
Bertram’s work explores the ephemeral, which is designed to not last for very long. According to Hannahbertram.com, Bertram said: “My work is intentionally designed to decay, deteriorate and frequently exists in fluid states of becoming and disappearing. Developing works which are fleeting in duration, and whose content is dependent on its temporal nature, allows me to investigate the tension between a desire for permanence and the inevitability of impermanence.”
Bertram achieves this affect through her medium of dust; a material so fragile that a stray sneeze can scatter it across the room. On top of its fragile nature, dust is also a marker for the passing of time, which relates to dust settling in an artist’s studio as they spend long hours working on projects. Vacuum cleaner dust is an accumulation of unwanted leavings of domestic time. As skin sheds and re-grows, dust spreads across the environment, marking humans time here. Eventually, all things are ground to dust.
The show will be displayed in the gallery until March 14. The dust will be swept up and the gallery cleaned to make way for the next show. The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery is open Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.