Oct 22 - Dec 11, 2015
Exhibit by Sonya Clark
In "Sonya Clark," artist and 2014 ArtPrize-winner Sonya Clark exhibits existing and new work which considers the relationship between object and story, including a new work that incorporates personal stories about hair derived from student engagement at the University of Michigan and from campuses nationwide.
I use craft and materials to investigate identity. Simple objects become cultural interfaces. Through them I navigate accord and discord. When trying to unravel complex issues, I am instinctively drawn to things that connect to my personal narrative as a point of a departure: a comb, a piece of paper, or a strand of hair. Charged with agency, objects have the mysterious ability to reflect or absorb us. I find my image, my personal story, in an object. But it is also the object’s ability to act as a rhizome, the multiple ways in which it can be discovered or read by a wide audience, that draws me in. To sustain my practice, I milk the object, its potential, its image, and its materiality. I manipulate the object in a formal manner to engage the viewer in conversation about collective meaning. Can systematically folded paper effectively use light and shadow in the same manner as an elaborately dyed cloth? What is the connection between color studies, combs, and tapestries? Can a strand of hair tell a life story? I trust that my stories, your stories, our stories are held in the object. In this way, the everyday “thing” becomes a lens through which we may better see one another. A visual vocabulary derived from object and image forms a language ranging from the vernacular to the political to the poetic.