'Glass Ceiling' opens at Texas State
A wooden chair overlooks a churning tide at Galveston, then kicks its legs up in a cotton field. In autumn, the chair soars in flight, green and tiny as an insect against a crisp Texas sky. Well worn and bowed in the seat, it has borne witness to graffiti and commerce, disguised itself in the geometry of a fire escape and aged gracefully from its perch outside a city bus stop.
Now it sits tethered to a gallery floor, motionless and larger than life at photographer Miranda Laine’s senior show.
“I wanted to take an easily identifiable object, something people can relate to — I wanted to take it out of its element and into settings where you wouldn’t normally see it,” said Laine, who will graduate from Texas State University this month with a degree in digital photographic imaging.
Laine’s Chair Series is one of 59 exhibits at “Above the Glass Ceiling”, a senior thesis show running until Dec. 8 at Texas State University’s Joann Cole Mitte Gallery.
The chair essentially is a substitute for a person in 30 digital photographs, said Laine, who chose 10 images for display at the gallery. The series was compiled over the course of a semester during which Laine traveled to various Texas locations with the chair packed in her car’s trunk.
“It was inspired by travel,” said Laine, a photographer at the Herald-Zeitung. “But because it was a busy semester and I wasn’t able to do any long distance traveling over the semester, I wanted to show travel as it took place within Texas.”
Laine’s favorite selections are a rich monochromatic shot of the chair overlooking a beach and another, vibrant in contrast, of it airborne against a cloud-strewn blue sky. In the latter, the suspended piece of furniture could pass for superimposed photography — but it isn’t.
“I didn’t want to use Photoshop for manipulation,” said Laine, who employed the help of a cousin to toss and catch the chair as she snapped away with her camera. “I basically laid on the ground to get the shot.”
Laine’s career will incorporate photography. And as with any trip or adventure, details remain unscripted.
“I’m not sure at this point,” Laine said, “but I’m ready for anything. I’m excited about having time to do the things I want to do.”