A Testament to Architectural Aesthetic


Photographs courtesy of Emily Albrecht

Vivid colors, intriguing textures and intricate geometric forms – these are some of the features a viewer may notice first about Liz Miller’s multimedia piece “Tectonic Soliloquy.” Housed in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, this vibrant piece balances between worlds of juxtaposition. Miller is nimble in her portrayal of organic and inorganic shape, planar and three-dimensional space, violent movement, stillness and man-made nature-based material.

According to the artist herself, contrast is a crucial aspect of her piece:

“I utilize undulating planar forms in conjunction with fabric and rope as a metaphor for shifting landscapes, altered topographies, and imagined realities. References to the natural world and the built environment collide in interludes that are alternately beautiful, absurd, menacing and poetic, alluding to the complexity of our world…playing out in my work as a dialogue between reality and illusion.”

These elements that seemingly conflict, yet aptly coincide, may represent the complexities of the modern world. A mosaic of the historic and contemporary is laid bare, with dichotomy seeping into art, music, film and other creative cultural media.

Visual Arts Gallery manager, adjunct professor, well-established artist and co-director of the Springfield DEMO Project Allison Lacher elaborates on this eclectic piece and its openness to interpretation:

“The current exhibition, Tectonic Soliloquy, is not what many would consider a traditional exhibition. [It] is an immersive installation…The environment that results is both organized and chaotic, and we might begin to make associations to what we see: shifting plates, jolting ice sheets, crashing waves, a domestic explosion, a nautical eruption — and we have the freedom to impose our own conclusions, because that artist has extended that freedom. The work has no intended resolution; we are to experience it and do our own work to arrive at what it means to us individually.”

She adds that the Gallery hones in on primary themes, including social justice and other societal issues. Suicide prevention and the federally-enforced ICE “detention-bed mandate” have both been topics underlying works in the past. However, artists are free to present installations that are highly unorthodox, pieces that do not abide by the guidelines set by other establishments. For a full list of future Gallery works, visit www.uis.edu/visualarts/gallery/upcoming-exhibitions/.

Miller’s installation in particular will be in the Visual Arts Gallery of the Health and Science Building from August 26 to September 19. Interested onlookers can view this piece Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contact Visual Arts Gallery manager Allison Lacher by email at [email protected] or by phone at (217)-206-6506 for more information.