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Pieces: Parts of the Whole


Alanna Perrell uses their work to showcase the ways in which members of rural communities have an intimate relationship with mortality due to their closeness to the natural world. Impermanence is characteristic of the natural world, highlighting the fleeting nature of mortality and denotes death as a hallmark of life. Using horror imagery, Perrell does not use it as a way of extracting fear from the viewer, but rather as a tool to showcase the transitory nature of life itself. The fluidity and detail that paints and inks allow are used to portray somatic imagery which grounds rural life to the human experience.

Members of small southern communities experience an unwilling immersion into religion that is emblematic within rural communities. Unrelenting faith in a rural community can both be hopeful for some populace, but also serve as reminders of promised fire and brimstone. Under the guise of southern charm, the bruteness of life itself is masked, but by evoking visceral, bodily imagery the viewer can defamiliarize themselves with what they once thought of rural life and become acquainted with its multifaceted truth.


Alanna Perrell is a senior who was born in Lexington, North Carolina and is majoring in Visual and Performing Arts (concentration in Studio Art) with a minor in Visual Literature. They spent their time at Salem studying visual story-telling and refining their skills as a painter. Their paintings bridge the gap between the abstract and the real and they hope to share indescribable stories through their work. After Salem they hope to attend graduate school for a degree in illustration.