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An Uncommon Perspective

by

Dana Hanefeld

South Bend Times

September 20, 1998

South Bend, Indiana USA


When Hunter O'Reilly peers through a microscope, she sees more than the DNA and growth cells that she works with daily as a member of the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, and as a Ph.D. candidate in genetics. She sees art that is waiting to be translated into oil paintings; works that are reminiscent of those created by Picasso, Kandinsky and Miro. For her, the connection between art and science is obvious. She believes that one complements the other.

Hunter claims that science requires the scientist not to impose order on nature, but rather to find order in nature. In the same way, her art, hinting at organic matter at the highest and lowest levels, invites the viewer to discover order within her abstract images.

It is exactly that avenue of self-discovery on the part of the viewer that Hunter is trying to access. "I may have something in mind for a particular painting," she says, "but I encourage each person to find something for themselves. I am always flattered when people look at my paintings and see things that I don't see. It means they are studying them." Given the style of her work, that seems to be Hunter's intent. She leaves little room for interaction other than quiet comtemplation.

Hunter defines her style of art as hunterism. It is a postmodern art characterizd by the use of a single line or shape to simultaneously define the contours of more than one person and/or object. Certain elements in this style of art are either abstract, figurative, or both depending on the viewer's perspective.

In a way, Hunter is an explorer. She is searching to uncover secrets about life's building blocks. And in that process she opens two doors for us; one in microbiology, and the other in art. Each of them hold promise for greater human well-being.

Paintings from her Abstract Faces Series are currently on exhibit in the Cafe at Barnes and Noble Bookstore on Grape Road in Mishawaka until September 30.

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