Friday, October 24, 2008

Little Journeys, mixed media and beadwork

On Wednesday, Robin and I drove to Atlanta to install the show and today my solo exhibition, Little Journeys, opens at the Brown Art Gallery of Mercer University's Atlanta campus. The gallery is located on the lower level of the Swilley Library (3001 University Drive) and the show runs from October 24th through December 12th. If you're nearby, please stop in and take a look! Here is an image of the work, Little Journeys, that the exhibition is named after.

There are six 2008 works in the show and Little Journeys is a new piece. The fabric in the background is a piece of an old quilt that has been dyed black and then painted with graphite. The wreath references wreaths from 19th century framed memorials in which a wide variety of materials, such as wax, shells, dried flowers, bird feathers, hair, etc. were used. The hat pins, pocket watch, tintype, horse drawn carriage, and bifocal lens were found at different antique stores.

I bought the horse drawn carriage from a local antiques store, Habersham Antiques, here in Savannah. It was originally a very innocent looking brass pencil sharpener before I transformed it into a doombuggy.

In my Artist Statement for the Little Journeys exhibition, I quoted Emily Dickinson's poem, Because I Could Not Stop for Death:

Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The carriage held but just Ourselves-
and Immortality.

The poem's imagery is a primary source of inspiration. The work is also inspired by the poems and illustrations from the Danse Macabre of Women in which Death, personified as a skeletal figure, calls a woman (The Virgin, The Widow, The Bride, etc.) and leads her to the grave. Another inspiration is the folk ballad Young Charlotte and Frozen Charlotte porcelain dolls. The title of the show itself comes from Elbert Hubbard's Little Journeys to the Homes of Good Men and Great.

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