Ten years ago from Sept. 20, Samantha Burns suffered from a traumatic brain injury from a car crash in Florida. She lost her short term memory for a couple of months and it took her a year of recovery to gain her functions back.
Burns took about a half of a year to regain full functions, with months of small therapy sessions, check ups, doctor visits and meetings, but still does not remember 10 days of her life.
Missed Opportunities Time Based Installation 2016 was inspired by a vulnerable time in her life. Through fabrication of the environment, she aimed to engage the viewer to empathize and connect to the unsure state of existence.
Her injury inspired her sculpture
“Missed Opportunities was created to show people how vulnerable we really are and that nothing is wrong with that. It’s okay to be fragile, that’s why I developed this sculpture to show people a vulnerable time in my life,” said Burns.
Burns created her work from personal experience. She wanted people to see the anxiety they may feel from a traumatic recovery.
The sculpture demonstrates how complex the mind and body is. The pieces are completely interdependent on one another, showing the metaphoric bond between the body and mind.
Burns explained how nothing was holding up the piece but their corporation with one another.
“The flowers will wilt, the piece will fall apart and go through their individual life cycle, but it’s not dying, it’s just the natural life cycle,” said Burns.
Samantha Burns is visiting Southeastern from the New College of Florida to participate in the fanfare exhibit.
Burns encourages people to take risk and see the beauty on what’s not visibly seen in life.
“Humans are fragile, we can break at any time, so it’s important to let go and live,” said Burns.
The piece reminds Burns of the hospital, mourning and celebrating.
Art allows people to view the same piece but interpret different meanings.
Eric Ballard, a fanfare attendee, said, “As someone who survived four years in the Marine Corps, I just kind of get it. I see it as surviving hard things, people rising from nothing, no matter how fragile they are, they are going to stand tall.”
An alternative view of the piece is that, “It looks kind of dangerous. It can represent taking risk and going through obstacles in life. The glass on the skinny pillars could represent how unstable life is,” said Emeal Cameron, art major focusing in graphic design.
Opening reception of The Fanfare Event Exhibition began Thursday, Oct. 13 and will continue through Nov. 10. The exhibit showcases paintings by Aaron Collier and sculptures by Samantha Burns.