Cool Cleveland | John Benson  |  February 09, 2011

Manic Growth @ SPACES: Elizabeth Dunfee explores how we're harming ourselves & everything else

Currently a painting and drawing student at the University of Akron, artist Elizabeth Dunfee makes her exhibit debut outside of the Rubber City with "Manic Growth," appearing Fri 2/11 through Fri 4/1 at SPACES in Cleveland. In recent years the Newark, Ohio native has been exploring the manipulation of natural elements and its effects on our bodies. CoolCleveland talked to Dunfee about her artistic vision, the components of the multimedia "Manic Growth" and her heavy-handed message.

CoolCleveland: Take us through your vision for "Manic Growth."

Elizabeth Dunfee: I'll be talking about how we are essentially destroying ourselves. There are a couple of elements going on that have a specific meaning. There's video and audio, and there's going to be an installation wall mural you'll see when you walk in. You'll see the space is physically cut off from the rest of the gallery so when you walk up to it you're kind of discovering a space, discovering this world that I created. You'll see an installation made up of wood and yarn and plaster sculptures. There will be two videos involved, one will be projected onto the installation and the other will be projected onto the floor. That brings the viewer's attention into that environment and that space.

Sounds very interesting and slightly abstract. What exactly is the message behind "Manic Growth?"

What you will be seeing is a representation of how I view things. For example, how I view pesticides altering our foods and what that is doing to our bodies. Essentially it's causing sickness and disease and this installation is talking about those types of alterations to our environment that we create. So it's an environment that I'm creating that is going to bring the viewer into perspective of what is going on within their own bodies and what's happening within them.

What events in your life led up to you conceiving "Manic Growth?"

It goes back to a year and half ago when I became a vegetarian and started doing a lot of research in the treatment of animals and how our food industry is run; all of that behind-the-scenes kind of thing that people seem to be na

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