November 7 – December 13, 2020
Debra Priestly, strange fruit 32, 2016, monoprint, chine colle on hahnemuhle paper, 14″ x 14″
About the Exhibition
The exhibition “memory walking” features several works from two ongoing series, “preserves” and “somewhere listening”, as well an installation from the “looking glass” series.
In “preserves” (1999 – present), the canning jar is the locus through which narratives unfold. Together, “mattoon”, “patoka hill” and “strange fruit” address ancestry, memory and socio-political issues respectively. Imagery often comes from my photo archive, research and collections of ordinary objects. The medium includes mixed media paintings, digital photography, drawings and printmaking.
“Looking glass 8”, 1999, is a precursor to “preserves”. Painted images and decals of ancestral figures mingle with found images in a white wreath comprised of 101 tea cups reminiscent of family gatherings and the collection of antiques ornately displayed in my grandmother’s home.
“somewhere listening” (2005 – present), creates listening spaces through drawings and sound installations. “Tongues 2, 3 & 4” is an installation in which hymns, prayers and migration stories radiate from tureens. “Anne Laura Denny Priestly” and “William Henry Priestly” belong to a suite of large-scale drawings paying homage to ancestral and historical figures. “Nancy Veora” is a diptych drawn from the front and back of a small photograph depicting my mother with her two brothers. Like so many of these mementos, the back displays a handwritten narrative which fuels the oral storytelling tradition.
Debra Priestly, somewhere listening: William Henry Priestly, 2005, Vine charcoal and absorbent ground on wood, 80″ x 30″
Debra Priestly, patoka hill 4, 2004, mixed media on board, 34″ x 24″
About the Artist
Debra Priestly, mattoon 19, 2016, monoprint, chine colle on hahnemuhle paper, 12″ x 12″
Debra Priestly is a visual artist exploring themes of memory, ancestry, history and cultural preservation. Her work has been widely exhibited and is represented by June Kelly Gallery in New York City.