Tauss ’17 Constructs Pati Hill Exhibition for Honors Project

By Caitlin Burns | October 24, 2016

English major Dara Tauss ’17 constructed a Pati Hill-inspired exhibition at the Judith Taylor Art Gallery in Landman Library over the summer. The exhibition ran from Aug. 26 to Sept. 9.

Tauss said her exhibition came from a need to explore thoughts and emotions attached to a course offered on the artist Hill last year. As an Arcadia University Honors Program member, Tauss had to complete a project in a field outside of her major this summer, which brought her to the idea of an exhibition that explored Hill’s novel The Nine Mile Circle.

“I did something I never thought I would do in my life,” Tauss said. “The main thesis of this exhibit was in the title, ‘Ekphrastic,’ which means a description. I wanted to take that word [and the characters] and give them new life in a physical medium.”

Hill, a well-known xerographer, took physical 3D items and photocopied them into 2D images. Tauss decided to invert Hill’s model by making 2D concepts into three dimensional art. By her exhibition launch, Tauss had created five handmade sculptures of varying size that were based on the five leading characters in The Nine Mile Circle.

“Pati Hill was all about found art, so I made my sculptures out of found items,” said Tauss, who used mannequins, broken china plates, tomato cages, mirrors, and jello in her exhibition. “Success and failure were interesting for this project. When it exhibited, I couldn’t have cared less if anyone showed up. It was more about this feeling of ‘I just built all this stuff. I did it.’”