“ I love myself when I am laughing… and then again when I am looking mean and impressive. “
Zora Neale Hurston
Personal experiences preface the ideas in my visuals. I was raised on a self -sufficient farm in rural northern California by parents who grew up in cities. Watching my father, the New York City latch key kid, try to milk a goat or my mother with her polyester leisure suit riding the tractor were absurd events yet completely rational. These truths were part of survival and have clouded my visuals with a necessity for the ridiculous.
‘Domesticated’ samples from 3 conversations I am currently engaged with in my studio practice.
The garment series offers a visual discussion of self-assurance or personal anguish absent of the body. Collected things are found or acquired, then I find their appropriate outcome. These works question the notions of culture, caste, social status, and gender politics. One can see submissive or dominant traits, signs of power and struggle based on something as simple as 3 yards of fabric.
The domestic reliquary works are household appliances that I see as masculine via design or function - however these objects have traditionally been used as tools for women’s work. Repetition creates pattern to overshadow the reality of my intent. I offer the viewer this ironic discussion through a humorous and graceful visual.
The figurative conversations, my most recent development, address explorations of the mold maker as model. Work that was intended to be universal became personal. I encourage the viewer to see these as tools to find comfort in one’s own imperfections. These pieces epitomize pride and fear simultaneously.
When titling my work I try to give explanatory statements about my intent…translate them however you must. I often read my random house college desk set thesaurus and dictionary for language that suits my intentions.
I believe in the absurd, a blissful moment laden with the most honest truths I have known. Here they are for you to view. Enjoy. Laugh out loud.
I would like to thank Washington State Artist Trust, without their assistance through a 2005 Gap Grant some of these works would not have been possible.
Bernadette Y Vielbig