By Flora Rosefsky
WCAGA ART+ACTIVISM’s three day pop up show held at Sycamore Place Gallery & Studios in Decatur over Labor Day Weekend-2017, brought together artists, unafraid to put into art, what they were saying to each other, to family, friends, colleagues at work, and perhaps in letters to elected officials in government. After the show came down, I asked artists to send me their thoughts about their work.
Sandrine Arons: “Enough is Enough” (the entire work, its reference painting, and longer version of Aron's statement will be posted in a future blog, Part III of this series.)
I chose the quotes that are printed on my piece to express how devastating and dangerous the laws against women can be. For decades, these laws have existed but have been generally considered absurd and not acted upon. However, with our current conservative and evangelical leaders, the possibility of recreating the same reality my mother lived is ever-increasing. And this is what prompted “Enough is Enough”. As a woman, I feel that my existence and my right to live freely is being threatened every day. I believe for months I have been in a fog of disbelief (though not denial) that many of the rights I was born into are being reconsidered and up for debate. Instead of moving forward, this administration is hoping to move the clock backwards. The backdrop for my photograph is Tintoretto’s 1555 masterpiece “Susanna end the elders”. The story of Susanna is copied … but exemplifies so much of the hateful, demeaning rhetoric and physical violence that women experience still today. I see Trump and Pence now as symbols of the frustration those men in my life alluded to; their dissatisfaction and fear of women demanding rights to their own bodies, to equal pay, to full equality. I’m not sure this is the result they wanted, but I believe the current administration echoes their fears.
|"Enough is Enough" (detail) by Sandrine Arons |
Pat Borow: “The Trump Fan”
The concept for my piece, “The Trump Fan,” came to me in an, er, flash. The idea is that of immolation by flame. The shape is that of a funeral fan, an object that has a strong history in this region, particularly during the days before churches were air-conditioned. For months now, we’ve watched Donald Trump go down in flames. I have thought more than once that it is either going to be his funeral or ours. Hence the funeral fan.
|"Trump Fan" by Pat Borow|
Vickie Martin-Conison: “Complicity”
It is done on traditional poster board. I began with collaging the entire US Constitution on the board, then applied thin paint over it. I spelled out the word "STOP" with gunpowder and burned it. The quote is done with pages from the dictionary that were dyed- as I believe in the importance of the First Amendment and therefore words. I continued with burning the edges - to show the fight we must fight and the battle we need to wage. The quote is by Einstein - his signature is collaged into the piece.
|"Comlicity" by Vickie Martin-Conison|
Helen DeRamus: “No Refuge”
This image was created over a period of time as I have been thinking about the generation of children who suffer the ravages of war all over the world. And now those young people who are no longer welcome even here in the US. How can that be? The image also contains the little image of one of my father's paintings on the lower left side. As a mentor and one who strongly supported peace and conservation he remains an inspiration and guide for me in my life.
|"No Refuge" by Helen DeRamus|
Jodi Doughty: “Social Justice-Human Rights”
It was a pleasure being a part of this important show that allowed artists to express and reflect the current chaos that people in our society find themselves in. My name is Jodi Doughty; I’m an artist because art provides you with a voice, an individual expression of hopes, dreams and fears. Art is your interpretation of the world and how you see yourself in it. Social Justice-Human Rights is an urban mural / marvel inspired piece that reminds us to be vigilant in our efforts to impact change in the world. We must be our own heroic figure while standing strong in our convictions and helping others find their strength.
|"Social Justice - Human Rights" by Jodi Doughty|
Marti Forkner-Vernon : “Women to Rule”
Wanting a world ruled by only women is not realistic, and that is my desire, that each woman will be free of society's guidelines and stand as individual and strong without inhibition. That the patriarchy will end. But it would take a complete metamorphic mindset change, and that won't happen. A genderless world would be perfect where no one asked, "what sex?" Just people
|"Women to Rule" by Marti Forkner-Vernon|
Lucy Julia Hale: “In Honor of Margaret Sanger”
On the table in the exhibition gallery I found a page with dialogue from the Handmaid'sTale : "...there is hope... like blood in a wound ". I feel that in crises artists are often called to ensure that wounds stay open and bleeding long enough for cleansing of contaminants and examination to determine and expose the true sources of injury. I am so grateful for this opportunity to join our women artists in this calling. My piece, which includes images of Faith Ringgold and Floria Steinem is also a way to honor them and all the artists in our exhibit.