Ian Wilkinson


Spheres of Influence

Ian Wilkinson

Ceramics student Ian Wilkinson created "Spheres of Influence" for his bachelor of fine arts senior thesis show in April 2013. His installation demonstrated food resource inequality throughout the world. He said, "Why don't I use my project to demonstrate that you can do something more meaningful with your art than just showing it off?"

The project inovolved 1,200 clay bowls, all the same height. They were laid out in tight rows and each bowl contained a few grains of rice or no rice at all; the bowls represented people with few food resources. A large piece of plexiglas was laid on top of the bowls. The plexiglass held five enormous pots, overflowing with rice, representing the low percentage of people with an over abundance of resources. Ian said his goal was to make a "tier system of economic inequality where the less fortunate population below can't get past this ceiling, which is a glass floor to the privileged few above."

One wall of the gallery held a photographic exhibition of empty bowls held by people with their bellies exposed; the people were all shapes, colors, sizes and ages. "Spheres of Influence" was intended to raise awareness of the hunger issue in the world and in the Fairbanks Community. Ian donated the 1,200 bowls to the Fairbanks Community Food Bank for their "Empty Bowls Sale." Within an hour, all the bowls sold for $15 each, raising $18,000 for the Food Bank.

Ian's creative project was supported by his mentor Dr. James Brashear of the Art Deparment and funding from URSA as a 2013 Student Project Award.

A room full of clay bowls and jars representing hunger and excess.