Homage

December 2018 - April 2019 / South Carolina Educational Television

Exhibition Text

Homage examines themes of memory and history and the ways in which humans are shaped by our past, individually and collectively. Through this collection of work, we acknowledge the reverence we hold for mere object and place, and the importance of narrative and ritual which link us to humanity.

Michaela Pilar-Brown’s mixed-media installation explores ideas of memory and identity. She confronts notions of femininity and identity blending materials and objects associated with Black femininity and her familial past using materials such as hair, bullets, ladies’ gloves, photographs and sea salt.

Through sculpture, Alexander Thierry’s sculptures examine memory’s role in shaping identification of people and place via objects that remind us of them. His use of domestic items like china cabinets and chandeliers stem from the disintegration of family traditions. The grass is a visual representation of time, change and growth. As people move on or pass away, items are dispersed and assume new lives, retaining old memories and solidifying new meaning.

Jena Thomas paints fictional landscapes entangling imagined with observed. She highlights humans’ idealization of nature, exploring links to history of various peoples cultivating, shaping and surviving off the landscape; acknowledging how these relationships have changed over time and more frequently viewed through technological lenses like social media as highlighted by her use of geometric, inorganic forms.

Leo Twiggs’s practice often explores the adversity that African Americans have had to overcome. This exhibition includes a screening of SCETV’s documentary, Homecoming, Parts 4-6, which examine the artist’s life and work, highlighting the memory of his childhood home, family, experience growing up in a segregated South. Incorporating Confederate imagery into his paintings, Twiggs draws parallels between his personal history, heritage and the current debate over how to appropriately commemorate the South’s painful past.

Cedric Umoja refers to himself as a visual alchemist, combining elements of fine and street art to produce “Afrofuturist” work that reflects the pride he feels for his heritage and culture. The wall painting exhibited is an extension of his “potions” series and creates a visual realm for his totem drawings to occupy.

Victoria-Idongesit Udondian’s quilts were produced for the premier installation of Route to (re)Settlement at the historic Mann-Simon’s house. A collaboration between the artist and community members residing in neighboring Marion Street High-Rise and crafted from secondhand clothing, each piece of fabric has a past life, allowing the quilt to serve as a metaphor for the fabric that makes up a community. The collaborative shaping and installation of the quilt invigorated the participants’ shared histories, daily life, and instilled a sense of togetherness.

Humans form sentimental connections to personal artifacts and familiar landscapes. In doing so, we find home within a place, culture or family. These relics hold such weight because they are symbols of the experiences that shape our identities, inform our perspectives and help us to navigate our paths.

Homage Exhibition Packet

Exhibition Artists: Michaela Pilar Brown, Alexander Thierry, Jena Thomas, Leo Twiggs, Cedric Umoja, and Victoria-Idongesit Udondian

South Carolina Educational Television

For more information or to inquire about works please email us at pce@curatingandcollections.com