While quarantine kept people confined to their homes, most people picked up new hobbies or skills. Kenna Alston picked up inspiration for her Bachelor of Fine Arts senior exhibition. The exhibition, titled “Two Sides of Loneliness” was inspired by how prominent loneliness became during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alston’s exhibit features a variety of ceramic tiles and photographs.
“When quarantine first started, I was back home with my parents. I wasn’t able to continue the project I was doing in photography, so I started a new one about COVID and all the emptiness I was seeing, ” Alston said. “Once I was back in Ellensburg, the project became more specific to being alone and the feelings associated with that.”
Alston began taking photographs for the exhibit last year and began working on the ceramic tiles during Spring quarter.
Alston said she hopes viewers are comforted by her exhibit and view it as a safe space to process their emotions of loneliness.
“Through this exhibition, I was trying to understand the different sides and process my feelings about it,” Alston said. “I hope that other people can use this exhibition as a way to process their feelings about loneliness and maybe find comfort in it, knowing they aren’t the only ones feeling this way.”
Alston has other photography works posted on her website, including a short collection titled “Body as Landscape.” This collection has four images, where the body is used to recreate landscape photos. One image titled “Hills” features a part of the model’s body that created a resemblance to hills
Another photography project Alston worked on in March was a collection titled “Repose” featuring floral plants. When showcased, they were in the form of a constellation.
A ceramics project Alston has worked on previously includes “Forget Me Not,” a collection featuring plant designs around every cup, plate, bowl and other dishes. The artist statement presented by the collection said the collection “looks at the meaning of flowers and uses those to explore the idea of home and family.”
Alston shared advice for incoming students to the Art & Design program.
“Take the beginning classes sooner rather than later, if you can.” Alston said. “I waited until my last year for two of them and ended up really enjoying them and wanted to take more.”
Alston said her long-term goal for her future is to create her own business making pottery.