Gallery to Feature Photographs by Melissa Borman

Melissa Borman photography

The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at Augustana will feature these archival pigment prints and others by artist Melissa Borman, from "A Piece of Dust in the Great Sea of Matter."

Event Details

Date: March 19 - April 18, 2020

Times: POSTPONED: Gallery Reception: was to be 7-9 p.m. on Friday, March 20 (Artist's talk to begin at 7:30 p.m.)

Location: Augustana's Eide/Dalrymple Gallery

Ticket Info: Free and open to the public


The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery will feature “A Piece of Dust in the Great Sea of Matter: Photographs by Melissa Borman” in a new exhibit running March 19 - April 18. 

A gallery reception is postponed to a future date, yet to be determined.

 The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at Augustana will display "A Piece of Dust in the Great Sea of Matter" by Melissa Borman, a Minneapolis-based photographer and installation artist. Borman’s work addresses the interconnected relationship between human figures and landscapes. She explores how landscape elements become metaphors to depict our human stories, and how these depictions shape our ideas of our surroundings. She is particularly interested in how the methods we use to share stories, from fairy tales to social media, impact our collective understanding of the natural world.

The photography project, "A Piece of Dust in the Great Sea of Matter" came about after Borman had sustained an injury playing roller derby. This instigated the artist’s interest in depictions of the body. The project title is an amalgam of textual fragments extracted from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, which Borman read throughout her rehabilitation. She found resonance between Plath’s continuous expression of feeling confined, and representations of gender confinement. Borman began researching images of the human figure in the landscape.  She found that historical and contemporary works typically depict female figures as passive, exposed to the elements and unnaturally posed against landscape backdrops. In response, Borman set out to make images that critically engage conventional aesthetic associations between women and nature. In contrast to traditional figure studies or portraits, the work follows a series of protagonists through natural spaces, such as forests, lakes, prairies and coastlines. 

“With members of my community, including fellow artists, colleagues, and former teammates as subjects,” notes Borman, “I began making photographs of women and gender non-conforming people engaging with the natural world.” The relationship between these people and their experience of their surroundings is grounded in their individual physicality. The protagonists demonstrate their agency as subjects by actively inhabiting these places: often integrated within the landscape and, at times, becoming engrossed with, struggling against, or even finding refuge in their surroundings.

Borman has exhibited nationally and internationally, including: the Regional Cultural Center, Donegal, Ireland; Galería Valid Foto BCN, Barcelona, Spain; Museum of Arts and Sciences (Macon, Georgia); Filter Space (Chicago, Illinois); and Griffin Museum (Boston, Massachusetts). Borman is a member of Minnesota’s longest running collective art gallery, Rosalux. She is a recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Grant, and the Rochester Art Center’s Jerome Emerging Artist Award.

The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is located on Commons Circle (30th Street and Grange Avenue), in the Center for Visual Arts at Augustana University. The gallery is open to the public and free of charge. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 1-4 p.m. The gallery will be closed during Easter Break, April 10-13.