Eastfield College presents Taylor Barnes and Delaney Smith: "Holding Weight" opening reception
"Holding Weight" contrasts the work of two artists working in fibers, Taylor Barnes and Delaney Smith. Through text and abstraction, Barnes and Smith invite the viewer into a dialogue concerning language, identity, and experience. Hinting at the fluctuating shifts of meaning and understanding, their works emphasize the complicated navigation of the self under the weighty constraints of historical and contemporary narratives.
Using charcoal and stitching on cloth, Barnes’ works explore forms, symbols, and text which reveal themes of race, identity, and cultural critique. The simplified forms and minimal colors of black and white reframe and magnify her personal experience as a black woman in America. The resulting works are nuanced and layered, not allowing the viewer to settle on one simple interpretation. But instead encouraging a complex dialogue about authorization and protection in relation to identity and experience.
In contrast, Smith’s textual works in cast, handmade paper give sculptural form to everyday words like “No” and “Yes”. As words their reading is obvious and yet we know given the history of these words their interpretation is muddled. As objects, the sculptures are dense and appear deceptively heavy, like concrete. But they are light, contrasting their symbolic, literal, and physical weight in a way that points to the complexities of language and personal experience.
In addition to the artist’s works in "Holding Weight," Delaney Smith worked with Eastfield College studio art students in March 2019, teaching them the process of casting handmade paper onto letterforms. Each student was invited to explore language as a way to transform their voice into power. The resulting sculptural works will be on view as part of the exhibition.
Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on view through September 27.