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Hurricane Stan propels student artist to find solace in the artistry of buhurt

Conflict+by+Andrew+Turner+features+the+many+phases+and+variations+of+medieval+armor.+
Cesar Maya/The Collegian
“Conflict” by Andrew Turner features the many phases and variations of medieval armor.

After the event of Hurricane Stan in Guatemala, Andrew Turner had turned to the practice of buhurt, a full-contact sport where fighters are dressed in full medieval armor and use dulled weapons.

The sport helped to steer him in the right direction and helped to give him purpose. Being in a situation where he’s in a fight-or-flight situation helps with understanding what he can personally control.

The inspiration goes full circle as many of the pieces found in the exhibition are derived from Turner’s buhurt experiences and some even feature fellow buhurt fighters in their armor, two of which stood guard during the exhibition’s reception.

In Turner’s latest exhibition “Violence,” the walls of the Phebe Conley Art Gallery
featured a plethora of work inspired by medieval iconography, ranging from sculptures to pieces utilizing ink, charcoal and pastels.

Andrew Turner’s collection of artworks is inspired by the medieval armor of the buhurt sport.

“Ascalon,” a featured piece on display, showed a knight fighting a dragon while on horseback.

The exhibition, which closed March 29, became a space for Turner to showcase works created through previous traumas.

Turner is a previous award-winner of the Sculpture Award for his work in the Phebe Conley Art Gallery. His work has become an outlet for his PTSD and experience of witnessing Hurricane Stan in Guatemala.

“I watched a lot of people die,” Turner said. “I saw a lot of violence.”

Buddy Brown, a member of the Edward O. Lund Foundation, helped to provide Turner with a scholarship to study abroad over winter break. After a process of narrowing down recipients, he described Turner as “wonderful,” with work that is “incredibly unique.”

“We’ve had students that were interested in sculpture, but nothing like we’ve seen with Andrew,” Brown said.

Turner plans to continue displaying his art and passion for buhurt, continuing to draw inspiration from its medieval armor mechanics.

“You go back to that regressive state that all artists talk about,” Turner said. “It’s applicable to just about every part of my life you know, fight-or-flight. Am I going to fight? Am I going to run away from my problems or am I going to face it head-on?”

The passion for creating art and fighting in an arena with other armor-clad individuals is integral to Turner’s livelihood as a warrior poet, something Jacob Glanville, a longtime friend of Turner’s, describes him as.

“Hugin” by Andrew Turner is industrially crafted from aluminum, wool, leather straps and machine rivets.

“I find his work very moving,” Glanville said. “He takes armor and turns it into a symbol of self-defense. It shows how the things you use to protect yourself stop you from nurturing yourself.”

Glanville continued by stating that Turner’s work often revolves around violence in society. Though his work may depict a form of violence, it becomes a question for viewers to ask themselves if they should be celebrating acts that cause harm to others.

Turner states that when finishing the exhibition, he still had thoughts of improvement and that he might not have been completely sure if everything was complete.

“That’s just the drive that keeps us alive,” Turner said. “The fear of stopping. I don’t want to stop. I just want to keep going and going.”

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Comments (4)

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  • H

    Harry ReinertApr 5, 2024 at 8:26 am

    Andrew’s art is absolutely inspiring. His passion and drive is breath taking.

    Reply
  • L

    Lori turnerApr 4, 2024 at 5:42 pm

    It was amazing! Thank you for sharing your art! For the world to see!

    Reply
  • T

    Turner AndrewApr 4, 2024 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you!🙏🏼

    Reply
  • G

    GurinApr 4, 2024 at 5:15 pm

    Such a beautiful and touch display of passion to protect those you love

    Reply