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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State graduate student explores themes of chaos and order in artwork

Garima Thapa
Mollykate Geddis’ solo MFA Thesis Exhibition, ‘Visual Pleasure,’ concluded with a closing reception at the Clayton Staples Gallery within the McKnight Art Center at the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries on April 3.

When Mollykate Geddis began planning her MFA thesis months ago, she felt anxious. But by the end of her months of work, she had created a piece that managed to regulate her anxiety in the process. 

The artwork, titled “Visual Pleasure,” features crocheted bright and warm-colored granny squares with ceramic squares woven in between. The way the ceramic disrupts the crocheted pattern is meant to “stimulate and celebrate anxiety,” according to Geddis. 

Her work invites the viewer to make their own sense of the piece to soothe the discomfort created by the disruption in the pattern. She described her piece as a “reflection on the human tendency to create a balance between two opposing forces that coexist and interconnect,” such as order and chaos. 

“When I am creating, I have found it important to start from a place of anxiety,” Geddis said, explaining that she found her own sense of calm by working through her creative processes in a rhythmic and systematic way. 

Crocheting a granny square requires counting and working in round and simplistic patterns. 

“It’s both this physical and mental state that’s almost like a meditation,” she said. 

Geddis said she had been working nearly 60 hours per week on it for the past few months — she wasn’t without help, though. Her mother made plenty of granny squares along with other family, friends and members of the community. 

“It really took an army to put together,” Geddis said. 

A significant part of the concept is not just how the artwork sits in the space; it’s also how the artwork transforms the environment and how the viewer interacts with it. Her work invites the audience to explore the feelings that arise while viewing.

Some of the artwork draped in a curtain down from the ceiling of the Clayton Staples Gallery, while some of the strings began at the floor and stretched upward.

Geddis said she could’ve “let gravity do its will,” but because of how gravity interacts with the environment, she wanted to arrange the artwork in a non-traditional way.

While the artwork’s colors were meant to be inviting, Geddis also wanted there to be a confrontation of “How am I going to interact with the space?” when moving about the room, which is meant to initiate further need of soothing techniques to ease the discomfort. 

“Human beings crave and enjoy order, but they also enjoy the process of creating order out of chaos,” Geddis said in her written exhibition statement. 

More of her artwork can be found on Instagram at @mkg.ceramics.

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About the Contributors
Loren Amelunke
Loren Amelunke, Reporter
Loren Amelunke is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. She is a sophomore at Wichita State, currently pursuing a psychology major. She loves to write poetry and hopes to publish a poetry book in the near future.
Garima Thapa
Garima Thapa, Photographer
Garima Thapa is a second-year photographer for The Sunflower.

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