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Download "we must be held afloat like this", 2017 (3.1 MB)
Download "twisted and turned", 2017 (2.8 MB)
Download "with callused fingers", 2017 (2.7 MB)
Download install picture of "One for Each of us" (drawing, 2017) and "99 or 100" (ivory soap installation, 2017) (2.5 MB)
Download install picture of balcony ("honeysick poem call", "with callused fingers", "let there never be a curtain between you and me", 2017) (2.9 MB)
Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
As I walk through my every day, for as far back as I can recall, little phrases would repeat inside my head.
THE LEAVES ARE TURNED, IT’S GOING TO RAIN
A SMILE COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE
DON’T INVITE YOURSELF
Little lessons and facts passed on to me, most often words of my mother.
HOW WOULD THAT MAKE YOU FEEL
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY COULD BE GOING THROUGH
BAD PEOPLE CAN WEAR BRIGHT COLORS
FORGIVE AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS
TURN THE LIGHTS OFF WHEN YOU LEAVE A ROOM
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
YOU’RE THE OLDER SISTER, HE LOOKS UP TO YOU
THOSE WHO HAVE, SHOULD GIVE
like a mantra printed in the air with edges that softly bleed and fade away.
WORDS ARE LIKE SALT SPILT FROM A SHAKER
CAREFUL, WE ARE SPONGES
ONLY FIGHT IN DEFENSE
SHH, LISTEN TO THE FROGS AT NIGHT
These endless lessons, words, have always made me conscious, over-aware. Most especially of others and how I would—I might—affect them. And so I always tried my best to smile, to give, to—as my mother would say—‘be love’. But there’s a space between my young self and my current self. Separated by a gap I can’t quite place in my timeline, can’t quite describe. Maybe one set line doesn’t quite exist, but it seems to have nestled itself somewhere between my hopes and my actuality, to have become part of me while I wasn’t looking so closely.
I grew up in a small town, with a big church, with weekends filled with trips to see family an hour away. A mother raised by a family of police, and a father raised by teachers—something about how all these things mixed has made me often think on how we treat one another, has made empathy an ideal through which I filter most things. That desire for others and myself to know real empathy, sculpted my upbringing, still sculpts my concerns, and feeds my anxieties about myself and the communities of which I am apart.
It seems maybe I—we—all repeat the same harmful habituations. Personally, familially, nationally, globally. When I turn to myself, to those dearest to me, I see the truth of that. Through my drawings, sculpture, and writing, I work to better engage with the relationships I am part of, to look into them and pay them gentle attention. Through this, my work is a push and pull of illustration. A process of creating sculptural memorials to the relationships that I have neglected, paired with mark-making, documenting, the internal monologue that accompanies my doing so. All along I continue to collect little phrases, poetic words, short notes, drawing from them imagery that informs my work, through a growing system of personal symbolism. I bare my own body, my personal history, my internal voice, in hopes others will connect through their own. Poetic writings and readings, give context, and extend on the interaction I ask of others in some of my sculpture. I utilize performative and interactive means to create new communications between people. To highlight our disengaged intimacy, which we seek to supplement, often through limbs not of our own, but of the prosthetic of tele-technology which we like to keep so safely in our back pockets. Maybe my work only furthers this, but I hope it serves as a reminder of what we lack, together, so we can work to amend, as I am trying to amend.
Dale Leys, Chris Lavery, Dr. Antje Gamble, T. Mike Martin
Through my drawings, sculpture, and writing, I work to better engage with the relationships I am part of, to look into them and pay them gentle attention. I intended this exhibition to act as a push and pull of illustration. My sculptural pieces act as memorials to the relationships I have neglected, while my drawings document the internal monologue that accompanies my doing so. I bare my own body, my personal history, my internal voice, in hopes others will connect through their own. A growing collection of little phrases, poetic words, and short notes, informs much of my personal symbolism and therefore the imagery seen in my drawings, sculpture, and writings. These poetic writings, to be experienced through audio readings, give context, and extend on the interaction I ask of others in some of my sculpture. My pieces, whether detailed drawings, sculptures, readings, or installations ask time and engagement from the viewer, mirroring the engagement needed in meaningful relationships, the main theme I wish you reinforce through my show.
My exhibition was a mixture of wall-hung objects and objects that existed in the viewer’s space, inviting interaction of different kinds. Some pieces were accompanied by audio, as a way of extending on the memorial sculpture and inviting the viewer into the narrative, creating reliability, such as my piece and here we are. This piece is a wall drawing featuring shirts specific to two people in my life and a constructed audio experience reflecting their relationship. Each speaker plays softly and rests on a different shirt, extending from the wall drawing couch. This installation requires the viewer to listen more closely and engage with each speaker separately, as the audio from each is similar but differs as it shows each person's different perspective. Another piece, No one has seen them made or heard them made is wax cast feet of my immediate family, hung from the ceiling all the way to the floor with lumpy cloth tubes, and a video of fence and honeysuckle bush imagery from my home projected through the feet onto the floor and wall. This piece is a memorial to my family unit, which focuses on the uncomfortable place we are finding ourselves in our current place of transition (separation, possible divorce, distance, need for nostalgia). I wish for viewers to navigate through this but also be able to view it at a distance, as an image, hopefully intuitively connecting to some of the nostalgic and yet uncomfortable feelings the piece portrays
Barnett, Elaina, "Yours," (2017). B.F.A. Practicum Exhibition (ART 498). 22.