The exhibit "Personal Fences" opens May 2 at UNL's Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery. This exhibition unites two seemingly different ideas to form a connection. Designer Sandra Starkey, a master's degree candidate from Lincoln, looks twice to find a link between fences and handbags. Structures that we employ to define our personal space on a grand scale known as fences, are often similar to what we accomplish on a smaller scale with handbags.
The project was conceived while riding a bike path last summer. An avid collector of vintage handbags, Starkey began to establish a parallel between the two. Posing two seemingly unrelated objects, it became apparent to her that they possessed similarities that warranted further investigation. Starkey suggests that a handbag is like a personal fence. It contains and conceals, defines, protects and organizes intimate space. It conveys status and is a form of self-expression. Both handbags and fences embody a meticulously planned combination of aesthetics and function that satisfy a multitude of personal needs and requirements.
The outcome of this research is a line of contemporary handbags and exhibited in conjunction with photographs developed as part of her business minor. The designer manipulates leather, vinyl and chain mail to create three distinctly different mini-collections. Starkey's photography offers a journey to see local fences that inspire a unique interpretation of the handbag.
Starkey created "Personal Fences" as a part of her Option II thesis project under the direction of her adviser, professor Barbara Trout.
"Personal Fences" is on view through May 20.
- Wendy Weiss, Textiles, Clothing and Design
More details at: http://go.unl.edu/vpm