MANKATO — Allison Henline’s paintings and drawings prompt a range of reactions. And sometimes, the reaction is a scrunched-up visage of disgust.
“Some people think (my work) looks like intestines or brain matter,” said the recently graduated Minnesota State University art student. “I’ve overheard people saying, ‘That’s disgusting.’”
Henline said she doesn’t intend to reproduce images of physiological functions -- it just happens that way. Inspired by fractals and recurring images in nature, Henline instead looks to reproduce the natural geometry that binds the elements of our known world.
Some of her drawings resemble lightning strikes -- or, are they neurological pathways? -- that are classic examples of fractal formations. Others resemble the body’s soft tissue -- or, maybe they resemble a magnified image of a vegetable’s skin?
She also paints drapery, both for its technical challenges (light and shadow have peculiar effects on cloth) and for its “curvy and organic shapes.”
Though Henline doesn’t characterize herself as a particularly mathematical person, she said she’s intrigued by the geometry that quietly shapes our universe. Her images, she said, are meant to prompt wonder and dialogue.
“I like to inspire conversations and discussions among people,” she said. “I hope they leave with something to talk about.”
Henline is originally from Pasadena, Calif., but moved to Mankato for a “change of pace” after studying at Pasadena City College as well as the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Her exhibit at the Twin Rivers Council for the Arts, titled “Archetypal Consonance,” includes 17 pieces.