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Navel Gaze

Amy Promo.jpg

Through painting, drawing and sculpture, I use abstract and figurative imagery to illuminate the bittersweet conditions of caregiving, relationships, and sexuality. I am fascinated by the dual nature of these topics as both commonplace and clandestine; concurrently elevated and degraded in society. I explicitly focus my work on the poignant emotions shared between family members, the often-disregarded health issues of women, and objects of lineage. In my most recent work, which combines 2-D floor installations, paintings, drawings and ceramic figures, the innocuous patterns of Grandma’s scarves and inherited decorative rugs merge together with darling baby and scarred caregiver figures in an absurd representation of home and love.

My artwork openly confronts the “mother-shaped hole” of art history (Baggesen, L.H., Mothernism, 2014) and processes the dualities of burden and joy inherent to caregiving into strange and playful vignettes. I employ a cacophonous array of materials including paint, medical tape, cut paper, glitter, weaving and ceramics, as tribute to the gaudy and Midwestern craft-fair notions of “beauty” handed down to me from the women in my family. My personal experience with female health conditions and motherhood, along with my passion about social justice issues like family separation and race equity, fuse together in my work and manifest as caregiving figures called "Mombies";. These garish sculptures, at once protesting and surrendering, contain colorful marks and invented imagery reflecting fear and joy, rejection and protection. I use sparkly glitter, craft materials and a saturated spectrum to brighten the messy condition of loving another person in an uncertain world.

Amy Reidel

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