Trustman Art Gallery

Body Coverings

Ruby Chishti, Sally Eyring, Mariann S. Verheyen

February 4 - March 7

Simmons University presents Body Coverings, an exhibition of design, costume and sculpture by Ruby Chishti, Sally Eyring and Mariann S. Verheyen from February 4 – March 7 at the Trustman Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor, Main College Building, 300 the Fenway in Boston. A reception from 5–7 p.m. will be held on Thursday, February 7 (snow date 2/12). Closed: February 18. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

Body Coverings is a show that intersects at the corners of social commentary, sculptural invention and theatrical fantasy. The three artists are beyond fashion – energetically  investigating the ways wearables or objects that reference body decoration have subtext, and fire our imaginations. The human desire to adorn, escape ourselves or intimidate others has been with us for all of our history. These artists offer us the opportunity to look at that process more clearly as their objects and designs are not made to be worn in any commonplace way.

Sally Eyring weaves with extraordinary materials – colorful copper wire, paper, and computer memory chips, to create head coverings and garments. She explores family history and cultural traditions thoughtfully. Dame Fashion surprises us, the front view featuring curlers, and the rear view a cascading form that suggests flowing hair and elaborate 18th century wigs. She asks us to reflect on our choices for clothing, make-up and jewelry….are we trying to fit in or make a statement?

Pakistani born artist Ruby Chishti also engages with sculptural inferences for the self. Her art plays with inside-outside dichotomies. Wearables that are empty of the body, yet have a molded shape are “observed” by a gaudy crow, that for Chishti, acts as a witness of struggle in life. Her Untitled, an empty, snugly-fitting cocktail dress, has multiple faucets protruding from the front of it. Her work addresses gender and memory as well as cultural expectations.

Mariann S. Verheyen is a nationally recognized theatrical costume designer. Theatre designers work to  visually express the meaning of the play and costumes are an integral expression of character and the director’s concept. Verheyen’s designs for several productions help us to see behind the scenes. The choice of colors, fabrics and construction techniques are a deliberate path to a seamless theatrical experience. Along with creative 2D designs, the Boston University Theatre Costume Department has generously lent the Trustman Art Gallery a selection of fully realized costumes and objects designed by Verheyen. In theatrical terms all things can be considered – revelatory expression or outright deception of audience perception is inherent in costume design. We get to see the artifice exposed.

Trustman Art Gallery hours are 10 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 10 AM – 7 PM on Wednesday and Thursday. The gallery is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Kyle Mendelsohn at (617) 521-2268 or find us on Instagram.