Adapting Pillars tells the story of human and nature relationships

Reanna Comiso, Features Editor

Until last semester, College of DuPage art student Karolina Szumilas had never before worked with sculptures. Fast forward a few months, and she has her own solo exhibit.

“Adapting Pillars” takes synthetic materials and turns them into nature-inspired sculptures. Each piece in the gallery is meant to represent a specific stage within nature. The structures are meant to show nature adapting to new man-made environments.

Szumilas said she found her muse in a 3D media class, where she received the opportunity to express her creativity in a new way.

“It was the first time I did sculpture work,” said Szumilas. “It is kind of a theme with my artwork. I started with photography… then went on to painting… and now sculptures.”

Crocheted poly rope, bubble wrap, spray paint and large stones are some of the materials used within the sculptures, different from anything that Szumilas used before.

Szumilas crocheted the rope and spray-painted it with bright colors to mimic ideas within nature and filled the rope “cocoons” with plastic materials to represent the human presence in within the environment.

Two of the cocoons are placed on the floor, meant to represent a specific stage in nature, whether it be life or death. The other cocoons are hanging throughout the gallery to represent life and creation.

Over the past hundred years, humans and nature have not had the best relationship. Areas that were once free from the touch of human civilization have become molded to fit their needs. The world, in short, has been changed almost entirely.

“One person came up to me and told me [the sculptures] reminded me of the ocean,” said Szumilas. “It is really sad, but that is kind of the point of it.”

In her third year at COD, Szumilas prefers painting over other forms of media, though she is open to trying different ways of creating art. She has applied to various schools to continue her education in art, potentially attending Oregon College of Art and Craft to pursue a degree in painting.

The exhibit can be found until March 23 in Student Service Center (SSC) 2210. Wings Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.