Remnants – Scraps, Snatches of Memory and Stuff
10′ x 10′
Collaboration with Stephanie Rond: Tradition or Torment
antique potato mashers, string
12’ x 14’
A lifelong learner, Janet George is passionate about art, literacy, leadership and youth advocacy. She especially enjoys the opportunity to combine her passions to help increase children’s reading and writing skills. In addition to her pursuit of all things art, Janet is an avid reader, an engaging trainer and a committed community volunteer. This transplant from Michigan is very happy to call Columbus home.
Statement FOR REMNANTS: Scraps, Snatches of Memory and Stuff
As a community advocate, I created this work for display in the community room at the North Side Neighborhood Pride Center. Remnants – Scraps, Snatches of Memory and Stuff was designed to serve several purposes. First of all, of course, was to serve as a work of art. It is art that community members, who use the space for meeting and events, can enjoy and interact with. Its secondary purpose was to serve as functional art to improve the acoustics in the room. In addition, I also wanted to pay homage to Columbus’ artistic mother Barbara Chavous, painter and sculptor, whose work displayed in the Columbus Library served as my inspiration. However, as I worked on the piece it seemed to develop of its own accord. With what became a very organic and unpredictable process, the art seemed to carry me along in an effort to create itself. Aside from the size and base material, it bears little resemblance to my original plan.
This work is my first foray into creating art with fabric and fiber as well has my first work of this scale, which poses particular challenges of composition and balance. Remnants provided me a tremendous opportunity to learn and grow in my artistic practice, while giving me a chance to include family and personal memories as a permanent part of the piece.
Statement FOR TRADITION OR TORMENT
“Tradition or Torment?” consists of over 500 antique wooden potato mashers united by a glossy red string. Each potato masher represents an individual woman while the red string is the embodiment of our own discussions of the ‘Red Tent’ and the respite and community women found there.
The ‘Red Tent’ represents a place where women were historically, and in some cultures are still today, secluded from society while menstruating or giving birth. In many cultures and religions (eastern and western) women were seen as unclean, or not pure, during these times. Although the concept of the ‘Red Tent’ is grounded in oppression and menstrual taboos, for many women the time of their menstruation provided a hiatus from their normal domestic labors and the ‘Red Tent’ became a place in which they find mutual support and encouragement from their mothers, sisters and aunts. Through our artwork we symbolize the connection between women and the support and nurturing of women to women despite what was considered their un-cleanliness.
In modern western society the effects of the ‘Red Tent’ and other menstrual taboos still exist and continue to impact our lives today. Through our strength in the belief of equal communities, we will continue to fight against the marginalization of women and girls.