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Something Old / Something New

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Price Range: 
$750 to
$20000
Date: 
Saturday, 7 April 2018 to Friday, 25 May 2018
Opening: 
Saturday, 7 April 2018 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

ARTIST STATEMENT: Something Old/Something New

My grandmother was a quiltmaker. Born in 1915 in Appalachia, her quilts weren’t made from anything that you would find at a Joann Fabric store. She took objects that had an existing function and gave them a new life. I grew up sleeping under a patchwork of her faded housedresses and my grandfather’s work-worn button-down shirts. Where others saw scraps of tattered fabric that had reached the end of their lifespan, my grandmother saw Ohio stars, Maltese crosses and other quilting patterns.

Tradition dictates an assumption of purpose, a prescribed path for everything that must be followed. Everything from work shirts to paint chip samples to wedding dresses have an agreed upon life arch. But an intervention, such as my grandmother’s, can give something a new purpose. A work shirt becomes a quilt, a paint chip sample becomes a mosaic, and a wedding dress becomes a bouquet of roses. The essence of the former purpose remains even as new characteristics are created, giving the objects a dual citizenship between what they were and what they have become.

Until recently the tradition of marriage had a prescribed path as well. One man and one woman joined together in a life-long monogamous union resulting in children, and until astonishingly recently, they needed to be of the same race and religion and from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. Many people believe that wedding traditions have been static for millennia, but like everything else it’s in a state of glacial evolution, punctuated by dramatic interventions that create revolutionary change. In our time of titanic shifts in the definition of marriage, many elements are being added, blending ancient and contemporary traditions to create something new.

My latest series of work, titled Something Old/Something New, examines the shifting notions of marriage by repurposing longstanding traditions into something more fitting for our current time. Secondhand wedding clothes are given a fresh start as roses, dahlias, and clematises. Paint chip samples are cut apart and spliced back together to spell out a couple’s longing for a non-conventional household. The French traditional of globe de mariée displays, which hit their height of popularity during the era of Napoleon III, are recreated for an era of marriage equality.

Like my grandmother, I have a soft spot for things that have reached the end of their predetermined purpose. Instead of discarding and forgetting about them, I want to help give them a new life. The Law of Conservation of Mass tells us that matter is neither created nor destroyed, it only shifts into different configuration. When it comes to traditions, if we’re going to make something new, we can start by creatively repurposing the building blocks of something old.  

Artist ( Description ): 

[New Orleans, LA ::: b.1971 - Cincinnati, OH]

Born in 1971 in Cincinnati, Ohio, CARLTON SCOTT STURGILL received his Masters of Arts (Fine Art) from London’s Chelsea Collage of Art in Design in 2005, and his BA from the University of Cincinnati in 2002. Although he now lives outside of the Queen City, his work continues to be shaped by his Midwestern roots. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums in North America and Europe, including the Cornell Museum of Art in Delray Beach, Florida, Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin, Ireland and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in New York City. Sturgill currently lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana.Born in 1971 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Carlton Scott Sturgill received his Masters of Arts (Fine Art) from London’s Chelsea Collage of Art in Design in 2005, and his BA from the University of Cincinnati in 2002. Although he now lives outside of the Queen City, his work continues to be shaped by his Midwestern roots. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums in North America and Europe, including the Cornell Museum of Art in Delray Beach, Florida, Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin, Ireland and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in New York City. Sturgill currently lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana.

statement |||

Inspired by the bedroom communities of Mid-America, my work examines the conflict between our behavior in our most intimate moments and our desire to appear as ambassadors of a white-picket-fence America. Using materials sourced from the suburban landscape, such as paint chip samples from Home Depot and clothing from the all-American company Ralph Lauren, along with imagery and text appropriated from the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist, my work explores the dichotomy between public persona and private behavior. My paintings, sculptures and mosaics use the vernacular of the American heartland to scratch the surface of suburban pretense, exploring the compulsion to veil ourselves behind the façade of a commoditized version of the American Dream. 

Venue ( Address ): 

400a Julia Street, 

New Orleans, LA 

70130

Ferrara Showman Gallery , New Orleans

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