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Artist Statement

Michele Ridgeway

Artist Statement

I construct anecdotal narratives through video, performance art, embroidery, and sculpture. These narratives, which are rooted within my own world, illustrate the “external self ”; the shells that we create; the screens, the walls that we put up, the “best faces” that we hope that we present to others. Within the narrative is the identity’s desperate wish-for our true selves to converse; for the viewer to associate their own self-narrative, to see within the limitless endless acceptance of space and time. The “self ” in my work is often the shadow, the hidden, the meditative stitch. The work emphasizes meditative process, chance, time, endurance, and repetitive obsession to reinforce these themes.

My sculptural work is composed of domestic materials; icing, gingerbread, doilies, embroidery, curtains, and mirrors. The mirror exists in the work as identity, stillness, a look into the now true self as well as reflection upon the past. The icing sculptures represent a repetitive obsession evident in the gesture of celebrations and are inspired by decorative elements in the home. Embroidery hoops, constructed as mandalas, represent an homage to the storyteller’s craft. They ask the viewer for a moment of reflection through their complicated gesture and presence. Through the medium of video I perform the everyday gestures that might occur in the home; icing a cake, wiping a mirror, nurturing with cooking, decorating and stitching. These narratives conflate the lines between the practices of life, art, and the domestic.