Exhibition Dates: September 3- September 27, 2019
This exhibit features the drawings and prints by Morgantown-based artist and curator Sally Brown Deskins. Deskins’ colorful, expressive and raw body prints and drawings explore motherhood, feminism, and the body.
Sally Brown Deskins Artist Statement
Art Time Mama Series
My drawings of my sometimes pregnant, sometimes not, nude form using children’s media of watercolor, crayon and markers aim to bring the sheltered or hyper-sexualized female form to an openly appreciated, non-scrutinized position. By incorporating my children’s craft and childhood imagery (some of the pieces they painted on before or after my work, or I used their book pages as canvas), I connect with them through the process and its outcome. They also comment on the somewhat inseparability of motherhood and artistry; and, too, the dichotomies of body image, sexuality and gender identity as it plays a role in motherhood and youth. Their raw and seemingly unfinished format comments on this aspect of motherhood. At the simplest, they are playful acts of love–for childhood, motherhood and the female body.
My current Art Time Mama collaborative drawings also intentionally leave unfinished lines on the body, echoing my current situation going through a divorce, and in general, the unfinished notion of motherhood. My goal is to create a large collaged work of several of these drawings, put together into somewhat of a graphed piece.
Feminist Tribute Series
I’m currently working on continuing explorations with motherhood, the body and nature with a sense of humor, in a cyclical act of tribute to various women and feminist artists. With body prints in camouflage alongside leaf prints, I reflect on how so many women have been lost to history and attempt to recall and remember some of them I have learned about my scripting about them on my prints over and over again. I sometimes erase the text to indicate their potential ill fate to history and the fact that my idea, honoring women artists in a work of art, is indeed, not knew, and moreover isn’t enough. Their titles include the artist names to give honor, with open-ended parentheses indicating hope. As I continue this series I am digging deeper into each artist’s history which then impacts my work more fully. For this series, the process is as important as the result.
My drawings are quick and playful self-portraits exploring both my own womanhood and self through my body as well as paying honor to all of the women and feminist artists before and around me. The mini versions of the art in the background are all artwork that has inspired or impacted me and/or my work in some way whether directly or indirectly (you can read the names of the artists on the drawing). I internationally leave them raw and unfinished to bring a grounded result, challenging the traditional high-art pristine, golden-framed works that, to me, produce a distance between viewer and artwork. My works, I hope, are intimate, personable, playful and connect to the viewer as just another (sensual) person, doing inner work, but not alone.