Take a look this week’s Featured Creative!
Alexis Furlong started doing portrait and landscape work for friends and family beginning in high school. When she moved to St. George and attended Dixie state, she really refined her skills in those areas. But, there was something in doing that kind of work that she didn’t quite find fulfilling. She moved back to Ogden and was accepted into Weber State University’s Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) program and something seemed to click. Alexis gushes, “I really enjoyed making work that reflected upon a larger meaning. For myself that has been sociopolitical issues. I think if I were to define a beginning, it would be my final years in the BFA at Weber State, when I began exploring and producing work that speaks to a sustainable career.”
“I think the inspiration for all of my work comes from my observations of the culture of consumption. More specifically, I find myself inspired to tell a story about it’s relationship with nature. Thinking about my most recent botanical illustrations and installations, they began, in part, because a few years ago I began spending a considerable amount of time in the mountains. While in the mountains, I developed a fascination with the beauty and function of plants and wildflowers and began to make an effort to learn more about them. At the same time, I started to notice the neglect of natural flowers in exchange for the convenience of permanent silk flowers for decoration. I was confused because while being surrounded by natural flowers, people pursued these labor intensive, but cheaper alternatives. I did some research to understand the process behind the production of artificial flowers and realized the labor and materials that go into creating these things seems not to be worth the product itself and are not sustainable when considering how often people use and throw out these products. Again, I was in awe of how the simple and natural process of growing flowers was neglected for these chemical reconstructions of them. So I decided I wanted to convey this irony by first drawing these flowers in the style used by historical botanical illustrators, and second using them as decoration.”
“I owe the Ogden art community credit for almost every opportunity that I’ve had to show, sell, and improve my work. For the First Friday Art Stroll in February 2015, I was able to fill unused retail space in Imagine Jefferson with a large scale installation of hundreds of artificial flowers that included 18 hidden air fresheners and recorded sounds of nature. This pop-up show sparked many other creative opportunities provided by local curators and business owners including The Front Climbing gym, Lavender Vinyl, Platforms, Office Evolution, and Slackwater. Without the support of this community and the passionate people involved, I don’t think I would have as much of a drive to create or as many opportunities to show off my creations.”
Furlong’s plan is to continue to expose herself to as many local opportunities, curators and events as she can. She plans to further her education and get a Masters of Fine Arts in order to expand her career.
Find Alexis on Instagram at @alexisfurlongart or her website:alexisfurlongart.wixsite.com/mysite