UT almnus’ photography exhibition explores perception

Joan Vinson

With the click of a button and a desire to unravel his personal intricacies, UT alumnus Colin Doyle contrived a series of five photographs titled “An Inquiry Concerning.”

The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center Courtyard Gallery, a gallery which exclusively shows work created by faculty and alumni from the College of Fine Arts, is exhibiting “An Inquiry Concerning” at the AT&T EECC until Aug. 31. The exhibition is Doyle’s first solo show. Doyle, a 2010 studio art and Plan II alumnus, said all his photographs are symbols of past experiences and hold personal meaning. However, he said, he is open to the viewer’s interpretation and is interested in the affects the images have on the audience.

“The pictures are all very personal,” Doyle said. “The objects I choose to photograph often stand in for people and events in my life that, like the picture, are difficult, confusing or unresolved. I’m trying to figure them out: assign them some kind of meaning, put them in a little box. Unfortunately, it’s usually not that easy.”

Doyle was nominated for the George H. Mitchell Awards for Academic Excellence in 2011, an award given to students who have made a unique contribution to their fields of study.

The AT&T EECC Courtyard Gallery curator Jade Walker said she was impressed by Doyle’s photography skills. She said his opening reception had one of the biggest turnouts she has seen so far.

“Doyle is well respected in the contemporary arts community here in Austin,” Walker said. “There were gallery directors and a wide range of faculty supporting him.”

Alejandro Sanchez, teaching assistant, said Doyle stood out immediately in former photography classes due to his curiosity, interest and willingness to discover his passion. Sanchez said Doyle was always asking questions and trying to understand how the world is transformed through the lens while demanding the viewer to see things differently.

“His photographs asked me to look at them closely. At the beginning they seemed one-dimensional. But as I started digging deeper I discovered he was purposely forcing me to move from one place to another without being able to collect concrete answers,” Sanchez said. “His work moved me completely.”

Sanchez said Doyle’s photographs are always changing and mutating, constantly drawing in the viewer to see them in a whole new light.

“When I think about ‘An Inquiry Concerning,’ I cannot describe its specific function because new questions appear as I try to understand the gestures, the formal study and the consciousness that invades his process,” Sanchez said.

“An Inquiry Concerning” is free and open to the public until Aug. 31.