Inheritance: Makers. Memory. Myth.
Date: May 4, 2018 - Aug 26, 2018
- Admission: Included with museum admission
- Location: Anchorage Museum
Artist Amy Meissner has been called an alterations girl, a seamstress, a feminist, a shop girl, a writer, an illustrator and Mama. She says she has been any combination of these things. She currently sees herself as a woman with a specific skill set and things to say about domesticity and motherhood, a woman with questions to ask about birth and sex, misunderstanding and fear. Ultimately, she says she is a memoirist whose preferred medium is textiles and preferred language is the stitch. Meissner's textile art combines traditional handwork and contemporary imagery to explore memory, fragility and the literal, physical and emotional work of women. Her materials are vintage, discarded or found and manipulate unknown histories to shape a narrative or myth for each piece. The pieces in this exhibition include contemporary mixed media work created from donated/abandoned/rescued/crowdsourced domestic linens.
Inheritance is an exploration of literal and conceptual inheritance and the artist’s relationship to materials and makers. The work values the valueless, honors the hand and reveres the fragility of memory through an interpretation of inherited cloth's narrative. Because so much of this history is unknown, much of it is “myth.” Meissner uses traditional handwork that she was taught as a girl, then later as a professional seamstress. Within the work are themes she finds painful, uncomfortable or frightening. The result is thoughtful and arresting, reliant on layers of narrative within the pieces themselves and within the personal history each viewer brings to the experience. A large community-made piece within the exhibition was created from work generated through a series of five work sessions held at the museum with groups of artists, makers, museum members and the public. Inheritance: Makers. Memory. Myth. is made possible with support from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Rasmuson Foundation. It is presented as part of the Patricia B. Wolf Solo Exhibition Series with support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Anchorage Museum Foundation’s Alaska Airlines Silver Anniversary Fund.
Photo Credit: Bryan Adams