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Meet 2015 Fellow Brenda Mallory

by Ashley Holland, Assistant Curator of Native American Art | Nov 09, 2015

Over the next few days, the Eiteljorg blog will profile the 2015 Fellows who will be featured in the upcoming Eiteljorg Fellowship exhibition, CONVERSATIONS. An opening celebration for this exhibit will be held on Nov. 13. Details below!

What follows is an excerpt from the artist statement of Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation). You can read more about the artist and her work in Brenda Mallory: Ontology of Ripples by Heather Ahtone in the 2015 Eiteljorg Fellowship exhibition catalog, available in the museum store.

Brenda Mallory
(Cherokee Nation)

BrendaMalloryheadshot

Ecosystems, cultures, families, or individual lives that are under stress from outside influences have been the topic of much of my work. I often use natural, organic materials such as found cloth scraps and beeswax. I spend days sewing the same forms which I embed and coat with many layers of wax. The forms look like they might have grown out of the earth or have been found on a forest floor but they are connected with blackened nuts and bolts and other hardware to represent the meshing of the natural and industrial worlds. The contrast of crude mechanics and beautiful, natural forms opens the viewer to multiple levels of meaning, suggesting harshness and domination as well as tenuous connections that are fragile and likely to come apart. Most recently, I have been working with thread and line as a metaphor for life and life’s interruptions.

2012_Undulations_(Red)_300dpi

Undulations (Red), 2012
Waxed cloth, nuts, bolts, welded steel
Collection: Eiteljorg Museum
Image courtesy the artist

Often the damaged and repaired line is more beautiful than the pristine line. Sometimes it is stronger, sometimes weaker, but never the same.  I find beauty and solace in the necessity of repair, the evidence of the struggle, attempts at adaptation, and the healing act of pulling order from chaos.

Reformed Spools 2015

Reformed Spools, 2015
Deconstructed thread spools
Image courtesy the artist

Sometimes it is stronger, sometimes weaker, but never the same.  I find beauty and solace in the necessity of repair, the evidence of the struggle, attempts at adaptation, and the healing act of pulling order from chaos.


CONVERSATIONS runs from Nov. 14, 2015 - Feb. 28, 2016. Please join us for the opening of the exhibition on Nov. 13. The Eiteljorg Museum will honor the five Native Fellowship winners with an intimate gathering celebrating the artists. Guests will also enjoy a performance by Indigenous. End out the evening with the Contemporary Arts Party featuring Indigenous, Supaman, and DJ Kyle Long.

Friday, NOV 13
Opening Celebration!
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Celebration
6 - 6:30 p.m.      Indigenous performs
6:30 - 7:15 p.m. Program
Cost: $40 [includes admission to Contemporary Arts Party]

Contemporary Arts Party
8 - 9 p.m             Indigenous performs
9:45 - Midnight Supaman, DJ Kyle Long
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

Click here to purchase your ticket.

ABOUT THE EITELJORG CONTEMPORARY ART FELLOWSHIP
Luzene is one of five 2015 Fellows and her artwork will be featured in the exhibition CONVERSATIONS: The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, opening Nov. 13. This biennial program recognizes the accomplishments of one invited and four juried Fellows, which are chosen by a panel of independent experts. As part of the Fellowship, each artist receives a $25,000 unrestricted cash award and their work is exhibited and further explored in an accompanying catalog. In addition, the museum purchases a total of over $100,000 worth of art from the Fellows for the permanent collection, adding to a body of work that has given the Eiteljorg Museum a collection of Native contemporary art that has been referred to as the “greatest in the world.”
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