University of Texas at Tyler | Department of  Art & Art History
MFA Exhibition: Laminda Miller
Laminda Miller

Allegory is a familiar construct of society. It is a literary device used to teach lessons and reveal certain truths in a non-confrontational manner. This type of storytelling is often portrayed in a deceptively innocent and whimsical manner. I used the concept of allegory with my sculptures of animals to elaborate on the ideas of “self” and how they apply in a metaphorical context. By placing the animal sculptures in
unconventional scenarios paired with the use of furniture, the juxtaposition of identification roles, the social, psychological, and literal connotations are changed to assume the role as a cautionary tale and/or social motif. The translation of the works is narrowed to where the viewer’s conclusion is within the same field as my own. I leave the meaning broad enough to allow the viewer to use personal considerations to apply meaning to the work from their perspective. I am influenced by literature of late 1800-1900’s based on fables and cautionary tales. The qualities of these illustrations are seen in my work through the treatment of material and palette that are stylized representations of what is found in nature, rather than recreate something that already exists in the world. I incorporate furniture components within the work to serve as “grounding” devices to break the barrier between art and viewers’ space. As artworks, the viewers may see these pieces exist in a world of their own separate from reality. But with the inclusion of mundane furniture items and obscure details, it brings forth the concept that the composition is mimicking truth. Similar to the use of allegory, my work appears innocent, but it carries truths that reveals the intrinsic nature of humanity.