Upon viewing Smith’s exhibit, I felt an eerie feeling that I was being watched by each figure. Made from translucent porcelain and stoneware as well as mixed media, the piece titled, Family had their eyes on me during the duration of my visit. This “Big Brother” feeling led to a certain amount of anxiety as I felt I was being watched as I circled through the exhibit, examining and gasping at each piece.
“Feral Garden is a body of work that has culminated from separate (but related) avenues of thought; love of my family, observations on our changing environment and a concern over how industry has changed the way we live,” Smith stated in an explanation of his creations and the exhibit. Using various textures and media to create such works as “Toy Troll,” the “Poison Flowers” series and the “Reject GMO’s”, Smith said, “my work relies heavily on objects and textures that inspire my fascinations, and these are usually found in nature or combined with natural elements.”
The “Reject GMO’s” are an experience that I highly recommend. A one of a kind creation, these creatures are chilling and thought provoking, to put it simply. “The ‘Reject GMO’s’ are my version of GMO organisms engineered and grown in the laboratory, in the fervent corporate quest to produce new and exciting food and products,” Smith stated.
Working as an assistant professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Smith is able to use his skills in ceramics and his passion for art to teach young minds his love of, “exploring ideas of excess and consumption, but also beauty, which I believe can be found in abundance, even in the tragedy of our global predicament.”