Year Graduated: 2018
Briana Earl was born in 1994 to Tammy and David Earl. She was raised in Yankton, South Dakota where she graduated from Yankton High School in 2013. In high school, Briana was interested in fine arts and was pushed by faculty to pursue her studies. She then continued her education by enrolling at the University of South Dakota to obtain Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with a specialization in Photography and a minor in Art History. During her time at the University she took part in many different opportunities including participating in student groups such as Student Art Alliance and Sculpture Culture. She also had the chance to participate in work-studies where she worked underneath John Banasiak as a lab assistant and continued working with Sara Hansen-Parek in the archives and special collections in USD’s library. In her undergrad experience, Briana has also had the opportunities to show her talents in juried exhibitions such as: Women, Gender, and Sexuality: Culture for Change at the University of South Dakota (2017), the State of the Union presented at the Memorial Union Gallery at North Dakota State University (2018), and multiple Stilwell exhibits, ending with a grad school purchase award in 2018. In the last year, Briana was also chosen in a competitive application process by University of South Dakota’s art department faculty to be able to partake in an all-expense-paid trip to New York City to visit artist studios and museums. After graduation, Briana plans on obtaining a Master’s degree in Art History and Library Science. With her interest in art history and historical process, Briana plans to enter the work field as a Photo Archivist.
During my senior year, I have chosen to focus on the distortion of how society views women based on stereotypes, stigmas, and experiences. I was interested in hearing stories from other women about how they deal with many different subjects including gender, sex, sexualization, objectification, gender bias, healthcare, assault, and other topics that relate to the documentation of the “woman’s experience.” These conversations guided me to topics that were issues for a large demographic and I began to explore these problems through my work.
One of the leading factors to my work is my process and how it relates to my topics. Some of my favorite processes I work with are mordancage, cyanotypes, and waterslides. Each one of these has unique effects that relate to themes such as transparency, reflection, degeneration, and color in relation to emotion and experience. I have also always been interested in alternative processes and historical methods and how it positions itself in the technology age. I think this relation also informs my work because my art positions itself in both film photography, digital photography, and sculpture. Mordancage and cyanotype are thought to be non-digital processes, but for the majority of my work I incorporated both formats, ranging from traditional film development, scanning, photoshop, or printing.
I also believe that these historical and digital techniques physically “blend” my narrative of historical perceptions of women with current issues. Many of the stereotypes and perceptions of women are ground in a long and deep history of a patriarchal society. I feel like this perception of women throughout history, especially art history, is still affecting how we see, identify, and relate to gender today. I would like my work to facilitate a place of reflection on these perceptions of women and identity along with continuing a conversation to help change current women’s issues.