Thursday, June 28, 2012

Moving Exhibition by Virginia Schotchie-“The Seven Deadly Sins”

 By Judit Trunkos

Virginia Schotchie is a Ceramics Professor and an artist at USC. Her moving exhibit titled “The Seven Deadly Sins” will be presented on June 26th starting at 5:30 p.m. at McMaster Gallery of USC and continue to move until it reaches Five Points at 631-D Harden Street, in front of Gallery V. Schotchie’s “The Seven Deadly Sins” features a new interpretation of the biblical sins using abandoned shopping carts and animal figures. The moving exhibition is one of Schotchie’s new mixed media works, which have been also exhibited in New York at the Thomas Hunter Project Gallery in May. At the destination of the moving piece, the artist will discuss her work between 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
The Seven Deadly Sins” is a one-day event in which art students of Schotchie will be pushing seven shopping carts and its content from McMaster Gallery to Gallery V. Inside the carts are Schotchie’s interpretation of the sins as well as critical symbols of other human behaviors such as ceramic figures and other objects. The “Seven Deadly Sins” will remain at Five Points by the Hootie and the Blow Fish sculpture until 7:00 p.m. for viewing and discussion. This is an ongoing show, which also means that the artists will be adding to the sins in the future, therefore, the moving exhibition will be different every time it is shown.
For Schotchie, the symbolic animals represent many different things at the same time. Some of them are very personal; others are more philosophical or ideological. The 47 ceramic punching bags, for instance, stand for anger and rage but also for Schotchie’s brother’s age, who was murdered at his business in Asheville, North Carolina four years ago. The pig is a symbol of gluttony, but at the same time emphasizes the inhumane matter in which people raise and kill animals to fill up the meet section of the grocery stores.

The pieces are
mixed media and in addition to the shopping carts, they are made of foam, astro turf, clay, cement and enamel. In terms of the techniques used to create this show, some of the pieces making the “Seven Deadly Sins” such as the punching bags were slipped cast from a real punching bag and then made from porcelain clay, juxtaposing the idea of a punching bag being something you hit (maybe in anger) but at the same time the bags are made of something as fragile as porcelain.

City Paper: When the City paper asked Schotchie about her inspiration for this show, she replied:
Living in the Bible Belt in the South and being raised Catholic by parents from Ohio; I have reinterpreted the religious concept of the Seven Deadly Sins in my work. The installation consists of seven shopping carts that were found on the side of the street in Columbia, South Carolina.” Explained Schotchie.

City Paper: Why use abandoned Shopping carts?

The abandoned carts I have collected from street corners are obviously carts used on the "streets" not in the stores. The carts used represent huge American businesses such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, The Dollar Store, and Publix.  Each cart contains ceramic and concrete objects.” Said Schotchie about the corporations. 
City paper: Can you tell us more about the content of the shopping carts?
“In addition to the sins, the animals also serve as a metaphor for some of our human behavior for example; the cart with a white sheep is a metaphor of how we go along day by day without questioning, justifying or even wanting to know the true reality of the new status quo in the United States. In one of the carts there is a dog representing "man’s best friend" of which we put millions to sleep each year in our animal shelters. Another cart is full of yellow and red chicks, which can be seen as a representation of our inhuman treatment of the animals we raise for food. The pig is a metaphor for our glutinous food consumption in the USA. The animals represent the disengagement and detachment we have from our own reality. “Explained Schotchie.
To find out more about the exhibit or the artists, visit

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