He Called Me Crazy, 2018
Mixed Media Installation at The Georgia Museum of Art
Just before Christmas, 1949, my great aunt Kathleen shot her then ex-husband John Drewry, longtime dean of the UGA Grady College of Journalism, and his girlfriend and former secretary, Miriam Thurmond. My research into their story, which began with hundreds of newspaper articles, led to a box at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library filled with correspondence from the early 1930s between them, with a close friend and with Kathleen’s psychologist—all from 17 years before the attempted murders and describing, vividly, their deteriorating relationship and emotional lives. The story of Kathleen and John Drewry, prompts thoughts about the fragile construction of family lore and history, and the tension between memory and truth. He Called Me Crazy is a manifestation of my process of research as art and art as research.
In 2016, I embarked on a yearlong collaborative project with my husband to zero-waste 100 pairs of damaged Levi's jeans. He made denim micarta from the leg fabric, and I made sculptures with the disassembled remainders, exploring the relationship between denim and our bodies, as it serves as our second skin.
In 2015 and 2016, my work took the forms of openings and closings as a study of the body. There is a traditional Jewish prayer said each morning upon rising, Asher Yatzar, in which God is praised for the wisdom to create our bodies with openings that stay open and closings that stay closed because if the openings were closed or the closings were opened, we could not stand before you. Woven, knitted, sewn, and sculpted, these pieces were constructed primarily of tubes.
Beginning in 2013, I have explored our relationship with animals in my art, creating a series of animal soul vessels, contemplating and confronting exploitation.
Undermined was a collaborative conversation between three MFA candidates in Textile Design and two MFA candidates in ceramics all of whom were working at the Lamar Dodd School of Art. The exhibition, in the Fall of 2017, sought to bring utilitarian crafts to the forefront as artistic endeavors, by creating a tangible dialogue between five artists. Yeonsoo Kim and Esther Mech created ceramic and pottery pieces which Amanda Britton, Erin Geagon and Johanna Norry responded to and manipulated using traditional textile materials and techniques, seeking to undermine the function of the original object, thus reframing the way the object could be engaged with and viewed. The physical differences between these sets of materials provides additional innate tensions, while the linked contexts of utilitarian craft development and stylistic choices of the artists as a group link the elements of these collaborative works from the outset. By taking these art forms out of their traditional context, viewers will be encouraged to consider the possibilities of the media more deliberately, as guided by the interpretations of the artists as they design these interwoven creations.