Tiny Things was curated by InLiquid’s 2022 Exhibitions Intern, Amy Cook.
Being tiny comes with its own challenges and stigmas. Often associated with terms like submissiveness, weakness, and passivity, people often overlook the power and beauty in the small. Tiny Things features artwork that challenges our presumed negative connotation, and asks us to recontextualize small-scale objects.
Scale plays an important role in how we relate to things as viewers. Whitson’s Appaloosa plays with our notion of what we consider “tiny”. In placing a horse figurine beside the foliage of the forest floor and photographing the landscape level to the horse, the scale and context of these objects drastically shift. The hazy glow of the piece, in combination with the horse figurine’s tensed pose, evokes a sense of uncertainty and discomfort. It’s as if the horse is overwhelmed by its environment, limited by its size in relation to its surroundings.
Limitation, whether physical or psychological, contributes to the causality of being tiny. Physical constraints, a form of limitation, can stunt and suffocate growth or expansion. Artist Angelicola expresses physical restriction quite literally in Untitled, confining a tree-like form to a 10 x 10 box. The object’s growth is stunted; forever confined and forever tiny, its growth cannot exceed its 10 x 10 restrictions.
Psychological constraints offer its own set of challenges. Feeling tiny as opposed to being tiny is arguably more difficult to navigate. Navigating the twisting and winding lines in Caparella’s Redlining is psychologically overwhelming. Each line is placed with precision, forming a maze of sorts that challenges the eye that attempts to navigate it. The viewer feels tiny by the challenge it imposes.
Learning how to face these obstacles and overcome these psychological hurdles and limitations, can revitalize and strengthen. In Kun’s Kisses, Hershey kisses circle a lone cupcake, confronting its presence. Though tiny, these chocolates find strength and power in unity. No longer are they diminished by their size, but they are empowered by their quantity.