START’s annual 5&Under program invites Wake Forest alumni who have graduated within the last five years to engage with current students about their transition after graduation into art-connected careers in the arts. This year the program will center on QD, an ongoing series of works on canvas by Cami Burruss (’16 Studio Art, WFSOM ’20). START is also pleased to welcome back Madeleine O’Hare (’16 Art History), to engage with undergraduates about her life and work in the art world since graduating from Wake Forest.
“We create as a means of self-expression, to form connections where they previously did not exist, and to promote reflection and thought. To be embedded in the world as a creator, it was always my belief that one should be creating. Dissatisfaction and lack of balance during my first two years of medical school meant that I knew something must change. This ‘something’ included the desire to hold myself accountable as a conscious and intentional creator. This resolution became the framework for this collection of pieces. The title of this exhibition, quaque die (QD), is Latin for ‘once a day’ and references medical jargon used when prescribing medications. In QD, I allow an intimate glimpse into my daily life and explore what emerges through creating work influenced by day-to-day experiences.
This collection consists of roughly 260 chronological paintings, sketches, needlework, and collages all set within a 5 by 5 inch piece of raw canvas. For each day, there is a new canvas and a new creation. Each piece harbors a unique tag with a date and caption. This daily exercise began May 14, 2018, at the beginning of my clinical years of medical school, and will continue until graduation on May 18, 2020: in total there will be 735 pieces. This study addresses issues of identity, injustice, and loss, as well as courage, community, and healing. While this list is not exhaustive, it reveals the vastness of both this body of work and the human experience – each canvas represents a unique part of a whole. While some paintings reference traditional techniques, others may bear resemblance to sketches, contain dynamic colors and brush strokes, or include a few simple stitches, words, or patterns. Each piece is distinctive, bearing likeness in their medium and their creator.
In this exhibition, I explore notions of vulnerability and human emotion as well as the ways in which daily dynamics influence modes of thinking. I emphasize the importance of reflecting on our experiences and encourage myself to critically consider my thoughts, actions, and desires. This body of work is a space for human connection – a space in which canvases weave a personal narrative of the world we are all attempting to navigate one day at a time.” – Cami Burruss (’16)