Thursday, April 10, 2014


Montserrat Senior Thesis Exhibition
April 16 - April 27, 2014 
Reception: April 17, 5:00 - 8:00 PM

This is the second of two Montserrat Senior Exhibitions that will be hosted by the Gallery at Porter Mill

"The Gallery at Porter Mills proudly presents Memoraphilia, a senior thesis exhibition consisting of Montserrat College of Art B.F.A. candidates: Emily Fung, Ania Gruca, and Elizabeth Paddock. This exhibition consists of three large scale installations which act as interpretations of the various memories and relationships which objects hold in the human consciousness. Memoraphilia will be on display from Wednesday, April 16 – Monday, April 21 2014 with a reception taking place on Thursday, April 17 from 5:00–8:00pm.

The exhibition’s title Memoraphilia can be literally translated to mean “an abnormal liking, or tendency towards memory,” a theme that runs constant across the works presented. It is of no surprise that these three artists use objects as their chosen medium in creating the installations, as each and every human being associates objects with their own personal memories and narratives which are influenced by the “things” which surround them. The installations presented are not meant to be solely viewed, but to be experienced. Viewers are encouraged to draw their own connections, and to create their own narratives based on the scenes built before them.  

In Gruca’s work, the domestic setting of home is a recurring theme. Objects are placed in and surrounding a shack-like home constructed in the gallery space. Gruca incorporates found objects which feel at home within the quaint domestic setting, yet upon further inspection not everything is as it seems. In a surreal twist of perception, once recognizable objects and domestic furniture become altered versions of themselves. An axe outside of the home splits braids of hair; a lovingly baked cake is mutilated by nails; a bed becomes a coffin. Playing on a juxtaposition of what is traditionally considered “feminine” or “masculine,” Gruca references the histories ingrained into objects, but alters them thus creating new memories. In a sense she uses objects and the domestic setting to create an exaggerated narrative which plays off the viewers perceptions of the scene laid out before them.

Paddock’s installation presents viewers with an historical shrine suggestive of a bedroom. This intimate space focuses on the way rituals and memories transform the spaces around us, specifically with the sacred bedroom. Her installation analyzes the relationships and bonds we hold with the objects in our lives and how they become relics of our identities. Every object is painstakingly placed, evoking the ritualistic organization of bedroom spaces and memory. From scrawled notes and photographs hidden within drawers, to a weeks worth of outfits assembled in advance, Paddock encourages viewers to explore her installation in order to both experience the assemblage of her own identity while simultaneously drawing connections to that of their own.

In Fung’s installation, viewers are guided through an enclosed narrow corridor full of wrapped and concealed objects. The forms presented were created by building a mold of objects given to her, destroying them, and bandaging the shattered pieces in order to bring to fruition a new dialogue with what the objects once were. In a sense Fung is much like an alchemist; from the objects she copies, destroys, and recreates she is able to transmute new meanings onto the obscured remnants of the objects created while still retaining the integrity of what they once were.  Although, viewers cannot necessarily see it - the objects she binds and wraps have come full circle. They are simultaneously no longer what they once were, but something completely new, made from the ashes of their former selves. Ambiguity and arrangement are Fung’s formal tools in order to present these keepsakes to viewers and to encourage them to challenge the meaning of the objects before them."

Gallery hours: 
Thursday and Friday 5:00pm – 7:00pm 
Saturday and Sunday 12:00pm – 4:00pm 
And by appointment. 

Porter Mill is located at 95 Rantoul Street, Beverly, MA 01915 

Contact Val Toukatly ( for more information.

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