Sculpture artist engages audience with Soundsuits


Nick Cave, artist and professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, speaks about his artwork know as Soundsuits in Cartwright Hall on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.

Felicia Ssempala

Visual artist Nick Cave, known for his work with wearable sculptures, told a mixed audience about his passion for visual arts Thursday night in the Cartwright Hall auditorium.

Cave, a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, presented “Up Close and Personal With Nick Cave,” as part of the School of Art’s Thomas Schroth Visiting Artist Series. Christine Havice, director of the School of Art, said the series is an endowed event.

The sculptures that Cave works with are known as Soundsuits, described by the artist as pieces that will tantalize the senses through various fabrics, sounds and movement.

“With the Soundsuits, I always hide gender, race and class, so you can view the work without judgment,” said Cave about the hybrid human and form artwork, which leaves no choice for the audience other than to be open to what it truly is.

John Crawford, dean of the College of the Arts and Isabel Farnsworth, associate professor, led the interview-based discussion with Cave. Stills of his Soundsuits and clips of performances played while Cave explained his creative process and described the workings of his studio.

“I need to be offered challenges that allow me to think differently,” Cave said.

After the discussion, students and faculty had a chance to ask Cave questions about his work, performances and creative space.

“He inspired me to continue to express myself artistically, and to not suppress those emotions by all means,” said Garmai-Korto Matthew, a senior economics major. “His body suits truly got my artistic juices flowing and truly captivated my senses.”

Students and faculty were invited to the auditorium’s mezzanine for dessert and an opportunity to shake hands and engage in conversation with Cave.

Contact Felicia Ssempala at [email protected].