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Feingold Gallery: Student Soul

Feingold Gallery:
Student Soul



The design of this gallery is aimed at encouraging conversation involving both immediate and reflective thought, individual and collective. Rather than starting by reading comments of others, please first put your own immediate thoughts in the on-line forum below. This way, we'll all be able to see how much similarity and difference there is in our initial reactions and interpretations of the images. Then go back to see what others have said about this image and add whatever new thoughts you have as a result of that. More general thoughts about the collection of images and/or this exhibit as a whole are welcome in the on-line forum on the exhibit home page.



hether's picture

fearful LONGING...the

fearful LONGING...the intensity of this picture emanates from those eyes. very very effective

Michael's picture


I see someone who is trapped, trapped by circumstance and possibly genetics. Someone who can't fully articulate what's going on because they barely have a grasp of it themselves. Someone who might try hard to keep tight lips and a brave face, wary of the response of their peers because of the stigma surrounding mental illness. Maybe looking for something or someone to show them the way.

Lee-Ann Callaghan 's picture

Do you understand this is

Do you understand this is you? You are talking about?

Quadra Plexus's picture


I am a scientist, having spent, over 15 years in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery, most of my work has been centered on CNS and other cognitive/neurolgical disabilities. I have suffered from sever spinal cord disease, dystonia, paraplegia, quadraparetic generalized spasticity, extreme clonus, amongst many other "symptoms"....I have evolved. I lost my legs and my hands, but gained remarkable gifts of insight and perception that seem to somehow nullify the void left by lack of bipedal locomotion and everyday tasks. I am strapped into an electric wheel chair EVERYDAY, but it has not stopped my quest as a student and Practictioner of truth finding through my R&D Science, medicine and the brain research. This chair to me reflects on how some may view such CNS or neurological disabilities. Yes I am trapped in my chair, but my mind is free to continue my work. It's all about perspective.

David Feingold's picture


From someone with neurological impairments I personally want to thank you for your work dedicated to CNS/neurological disabilities. I found your comment about being "trapped" in your chair but your mind being free to continue your work, very interesting. Interesting from the standpoint that you feel trapped physically in your chair, but feeling free mentally to do your work. For those with mental/emotional illness, we can feel free physically but trapped emotionally and mentally. It makes me wonder how many different ways there are of feeling trapped. Perhaps "feeling trapped" is a condition of being impaired/disabled. That being the case, there may be many more "disabling conditions" worth considering that might limit one's quality of life, such as being too materialistic, having prejudice, passing judgment, and harboring resentment. I'm sure that at some level, these too have a neurological connection. But I'll leave that up to you CNS scientists to think about!

Anonymous's picture

Looking at this chair and

Looking at this chair and straps the only thing that comes to mind is abuse. Probibly a hidden memory of a past experience the person standing outside is either the person with the memory or an outsider observing but which ever it might be they can not see to clear through the window just looking to find but not getting everything because there is not enough in the memory or in the room. There is only a a chair with some evidence to show that it is there just hidden. The little mirror below the chair has a face with evil looking eyes representing a big prob with that memory.

dfeingold's picture

No problem

No problem--I admire your candor, honesty and confidence in having expressed your point of view. In addition, it appears that you are doing some good, self-reflection, which is not always easy! Keep up the good work...

dfeingold's picture

Response to Ryan's comment

Ryan, thank you for your reflection on "My Tortured Student Soul". Your reflection is very poignant from the standpoint of showing how individuals can have such diverse education experiences. I am very happy that you have been able to benefit from your past and present schooling in such a positive manner. You are very fortunate in not having had to suffer or go through your education as a miserable student. Realize however, that there are many students who have not been able to have the positive experiences that you have had in your studies. Even if you cannot relate to this image, you still have an opportunity to understand the challenges that perhaps even some people you know may have to endure: Disabilities are not the only thing hidden from others--so is the pain.

ryan g's picture

You're absolutely right

You're absolutely right about the opportunity to understand the issues that others face.  I find that it has been one of my greatest challenges in this class to try and conceptualize how it must feel to personally deal with a mental illness or to have a family member who is dealing with one.  I find it especially difficult because on top of my lack of experience, it is usually something that you cannot even see, unlike a broken leg or a bruise.  As you noted, many people hide their struggle from others.  I apologize if my comment came off as blunt or thoughtless.  I was trying to record my gut reaction, first thoughts from viewing each of your images.  This particular image, at the time of viewing, didn't particularly connect with me - probably because I am at a stage of my life where I am pursuing my academics with a different type of purpose than I have in the past.  However, I have not always approached my studies with enthusiasm and in particularly trying times (last week) I can relate to this image more.  
Martin's picture

Looks like fear of failure

Looks like fear of failure ending his imprisonment in school. 
Ljones's picture

Seems like delayed

Seems like delayed gratification to the extreme... school can't possibly be giving him as much back as it seems to be taking away.
ryan g's picture

I don't relate much to this

I don't relate much to this image.  I'm not a miserable student...
mstokes's picture

The soul wants

death--an escape from inspection and introspection...
akerle's picture

There is an apparatus for

There is an apparatus for torture but no actual torment occuring.  Greatest irony, perhaps, of "angst"- we are more tortured by fear and possibility than a real physical destruction.
kmanning's picture


Trapped within his own mind, able to see that more exists to be learned and experienced, but unable to access it.
Sophie F's picture

The feeling of being

The feeling of being scrutinized (there are two sets of eyes that I am able to see) and judged and punished without an escape. Perhaps, self-inflicted punshment, too?
PS2007's picture

The image of the electric

The image of the electric chair is extremely frightening, it is a reminder of the past and of physical pain.  It represents a finality that is disturbing.
ysilverman's picture

The yearning to embrace

The yearning to escape societal constraints pressed upon us (even by people who are "successful" within the terminology of those constraints). There is always a focus on the people who "fail the system" or "for whom the system fails." But what about the people who succeed in the system? Who end up confined/stuck in it?
Riki's picture

No choice and no end in

No choice and no end in sight.
merry2e's picture

held down, being watched

held down, being watched (leather straps jumped out at me right away), scrutinized, not being able to get out...
Laura Cyckowski's picture

School seems to be a great

School seems to be a great source of pain for the artist. The feelings of a "tortured student" don’t resonate with me because school has always been, and at some times, the only comfort in my life.
Paul Grobstein's picture

Student soul comment

I wonder how many people, regardless of their differences, actually have something of these feelings about school?
Anonymous's picture


Such fear of school should be avoided at all costs. Students should never feel alienated or punished by their learning environments. Does only the student who is different get the electric chair? What defines such a difference, thus what defines who is punished by the school system?

Angela - an artist's picture

chair picture

What is a "tortured student"? Bullied? Under-acheiving? Having pushy parents?
Merely having student angst problems pales into insignificance compared to some adult problems. Mental ill-health can probably be nasty even at school, but to the extent of a torture chair? Maybe. Would like to know more.

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