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Date
Title
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Description
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-4286
24.05.2011
Proposal for Vision and Vernacular Eight African American Artists in Venice  - Lonnie Holley
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  • Lonnie Holley From Earth the Mother to the Black Mother and Back Again Proposal for Vision and Vernacular Eight African American Artists in Venice Presented by the American Folk Art Museum at Fondaco dei Tedeschi, June 2011 Artist State ...

    Lonnie Holley

    From Earth the Mother to the Black Mother and Back Again

      Proposal for Vision and Vernacular Eight African American Artists in Venice 
    

    Presented by the American Folk Art Museum at Fondaco dei Tedeschi, June 2011

    Artist Statement

    Artists are workers in a higher sense because we add prosperity to life. Art, to me, is everything that is on earth. I am an artist of the earth, an African American artist and an artist educator.

    All art is education. I would like to see children all over this world have an opportunity to use their minds, to become sensitive and aware, to learn how to take care of the earth and themselves. Through my works I will try to leave enough information that children can still come onto this earth 50,000 years from now and learn how to take care of it.

    I take care of the earth by rescuing nature from the junk that contemporary America throws out. I find beauty in discarded things like wire, boards, telephones, computer parts, motorcycles, buckets, mops, all kinds of things that I recycle into art on my property in Harpersville, AL where I have 16 acres for my art environment. I must reuse materials and not waste them in the future and discover something in them in an artistic manner.

    My art is my thoughts, and my subject is the materials I use. The kind of memories that is inside of my art – it’s materialistic memories, kind of compressed, compacted over time. Ideas, thoughts and appreciations for the different ways I had seen these materials used. I make visible their hidden properties, but outside nature continues to work on them until they become invisible and return to the earth. Life is always changing and so must the materials I use in my art. I think most artists will agree.

    I improvise all the time. I am always working even if it is with bits of wire, cloth, and wood. It soothes me. My mind can’t stop thinking and the art I make is the story of the thoughts in my head. I am interested in current world events, like the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, man’s dependence on technology, and personal things I am going through. I make art to express my thoughts about all that is in my mind.

    Thinking and creating are the same for me; they come from the mind. We have to look at some things of art and say, is that art for my walls or art for my mind? I can arrange objects in a particular way that pleases me, and the story it tells is enough so I don’t need to build it. I can take a picture of it with a camera or just my mind, and that is enough for me. I call it Placement Art.

    I also make music and write poetry. I sing and play keyboard. My songs are spontaneous recordings of how I feel about something that moves me. Making music has become an important part of my art.

    I am a self-taught artist, but from the beginning of my art making career, my work has been exhibited in museums and galleries and has been reviewed in mainstream art publications. I measure my work against these standards just as mainstream artists do. When I make art, I am honoring my ancestors. We sit on the throne of our ancestors. We are not only the throne keepers but we must strive to sit on the throne ourselves, so it is important to live honorable and healthy lives, to set an example by our actions. I am here today because of my ancestors. I am standing on the top of the pyramid, and the blocks under my feet represent the generations of people who came before me. I want to thank them with my art.

    Proposal Statement

    I am creating a temporary environment at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi that shows my artistic development up to the present moment. All aspects of my work - carving, assemblage, found object sculpture, painting, music and poetry will be included. I am showing people my whole development. I am showing them who I am today. With this project, I want to honor and thank my ancestors and my country for everything they have given me. My art environment at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi will be a small part of my greater environment in Harpersville, AL where I live and work.

    My concept for From Earth the Mother to the Black Mother and Back Again is that we take all this stuff from Mother Earth and throw it right back at her and she recycles it again. The earth recycles all of our junk, trash and debris. This is what I have seen in the environment. I will convey this concept by creating the shadow of a tall female body from black cloth to represent the Black Mother.

    Project Description

    The Fondaco dei Tedeschi installation will be a temporary universe that I will construct using existing pieces from my Harpersville environment as well as discarded things I find along the way while I am in Venice. I choose objects for their physical properties and their symbolic value which become intrinsic to the story I am telling with my art. The installation will be a site specific and layered environment consisting of dozens of individual art works that represent my ideas. I will link them together with rope and wire like I am connecting my thoughts. I am constantly thinking about what’s going on in the world and in my personal life, and these thoughts can be read in the installation. There will be a continuous film loop of images of my artworks and my environment accompanied by a CD of songs that I have written and recorded.

    As told to Martha V. Henry, Curator

    Lonnie Holley From Earth the Mother to the Black Mother and Back Again Proposal for Vision and Vernacular Eight African American Artists in Venice Presented by the American Folk Art Museum at Fondaco dei Tedeschi, June 2011 Artist State ...

    Lonnie Holley

    From Earth the Mother to the Black Mother and Back Again

      Proposal for Vision and Vernacular Eight African American Artists in Venice 
    

    Presented by the American Folk Art Museum at Fondaco dei Tedeschi, June 2011

    Artist Statement

    Artists are workers in a higher sense because we add prosperity to life. Art, to me, is everything that is on earth. I am an artist of the earth, an African American artist and an artist educator.

    All art is education. I would like to see children all over this world have an opportunity to use their minds, to become sensitive and aware, to learn how to take care of the earth and themselves. Through my works I will try to leave enough information that children can still come onto this earth 50,000 years from now and learn how to take care of it.

    I take care of the earth by rescuing nature from the junk that contemporary America throws out. I find beauty in discarded things like wire, boards, telephones, computer parts, motorcycles, buckets, mops, all kinds of things that I recycle into art on my property in Harpersville, AL where I have 16 acres for my art environment. I must reuse materials and not waste them in the future and discover something in them in an artistic manner.

    My art is my thoughts, and my subject is the materials I use. The kind of memories that is inside of my art – it’s materialistic memories, kind of compressed, compacted over time. Ideas, thoughts and appreciations for the different ways I had seen these materials used. I make visible their hidden properties, but outside nature continues to work on them until they become invisible and return to the earth. Life is always changing and so must the materials I use in my art. I think most artists will agree.

    I improvise all the time. I am always working even if it is with bits of wire, cloth, and wood. It soothes me. My mind can’t stop thinking and the art I make is the story of the thoughts in my head. I am interested in current world events, like the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, man’s dependence on technology, and personal things I am going through. I make art to express my thoughts about all that is in my mind.

    Thinking and creating are the same for me; they come from the mind. We have to look at some things of art and say, is that art for my walls or art for my mind? I can arrange objects in a particular way that pleases me, and the story it tells is enough so I don’t need to build it. I can take a picture of it with a camera or just my mind, and that is enough for me. I call it Placement Art.

    I also make music and write poetry. I sing and play keyboard. My songs are spontaneous recordings of how I feel about something that moves me. Making music has become an important part of my art.

    I am a self-taught artist, but from the beginning of my art making career, my work has been exhibited in museums and galleries and has been reviewed in mainstream art publications. I measure my work against these standards just as mainstream artists do. When I make art, I am honoring my ancestors. We sit on the throne of our ancestors. We are not only the throne keepers but we must strive to sit on the throne ourselves, so it is important to live honorable and healthy lives, to set an example by our actions. I am here today because of my ancestors. I am standing on the top of the pyramid, and the blocks under my feet represent the generations of people who came before me. I want to thank them with my art.

    Proposal Statement

    I am creating a temporary environment at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi that shows my artistic development up to the present moment. All aspects of my work - carving, assemblage, found object sculpture, painting, music and poetry will be included. I am showing people my whole development. I am showing them who I am today. With this project, I want to honor and thank my ancestors and my country for everything they have given me. My art environment at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi will be a small part of my greater environment in Harpersville, AL where I live and work.

    My concept for From Earth the Mother to the Black Mother and Back Again is that we take all this stuff from Mother Earth and throw it right back at her and she recycles it again. The earth recycles all of our junk, trash and debris. This is what I have seen in the environment. I will convey this concept by creating the shadow of a tall female body from black cloth to represent the Black Mother.

    Project Description

    The Fondaco dei Tedeschi installation will be a temporary universe that I will construct using existing pieces from my Harpersville environment as well as discarded things I find along the way while I am in Venice. I choose objects for their physical properties and their symbolic value which become intrinsic to the story I am telling with my art. The installation will be a site specific and layered environment consisting of dozens of individual art works that represent my ideas. I will link them together with rope and wire like I am connecting my thoughts. I am constantly thinking about what’s going on in the world and in my personal life, and these thoughts can be read in the installation. There will be a continuous film loop of images of my artworks and my environment accompanied by a CD of songs that I have written and recorded.

    As told to Martha V. Henry, Curator