“This beautiful tangle” curator’s statement

“This beautiful tangle,” logo designed by Suepie Archie

“This beautiful tangle,”  curator Lisa Alembik
October 13-December 3, 2016

Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia

Scott Belville
Didi Dunphy
Steve Eberhardt
Julia A. Fenton
Heather M. Foster
Molly Rose Freeman
Bessie Harvey
Hope Hilton
George Long
Aubrey Longley-Cook
Charlie Lucas
Forest McMullin
Mario Petrirena
Jessica Scott-Felder
Karen Tauches & Calvin Burgamy
Cosmo Whyte

Artists in This beautiful tangle spread their arms out to enmesh themselves with the universe.  Some crawl deep into intimate entwinings where they gladly lose themselves to another. Relationships are explored—those with ancestors and strangers, communities and country. Other artists encourage a connection to the local through the natural environment.

We need to make connections. From the first moment that we breathe air most of us want to bond with something bigger than ourselves. As children we want to become one with our parents, hopefully to be absorbed into family and community. We will define ourselves first by our kin and culture, then by where we grew up—and eventually by our friends and our stories.   We want to know that we belong somewhere and to hold, and be held by, a power outside of ourselves.  These relationships help us recognize who we are. Belonging to something must be how we feel fully warm-blooded.

Many of us hope to better understand ourselves by turning our lenses inward. Still, we search for our elusive reflection in our relationships—in the eyes around us, on the path where we once tread and within an all-knowing landscape that we seek. Some live in a never-ending state of wanting to belong. We bond with people who were once strangers to become family by choice, and build home. Others don’t want attachments—or imagine it is so. Over time these connections become a weaving of beings and places that continue to form us.

In our search for belonging we may reach for a patch of ground to call home. There we dig, plant, paint, and settle. May be. Sometimes we escape a place, to then repeatedly dwell over it—running back over and over in our minds what happened there. But when we are enshrined in that perfect place, we can feel safe and whole, at home. Sometimes within a land that we call our own we sense the divine. Ideally we get to know our communities, to hopefully fall in love with place and people. Without these connections we can feel unmoored. Instead, we hook into a network of like minds, the energy of many grounding us.

This beautiful tangle represents a dynamic range of media exploring a breadth of ideas that come together under the premise that, over time, the connections we make, this weaving of beings and places, continue to form us. Textiles used and found, murals, cross-stitching, leaf gathering, eye-reading, chair-kissing works will fill the Dalton Gallery.

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“This beautiful tangle” curator’s statement | 2017 | curatorial essays, w r i t i n g s