Exhibition features notable contemporary artists reflecting on domestic spaces
–The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) is pleased to present Home/Work, a group exhibition that reflects on domestic space, the way in which we create division between work life and personal life, and the relationships that each of us have with our homes. The exhibition, running until March 5, 2023, brings together work by fourteen notable contemporary artists looking at their own domestic spaces, historical moments from women moving the political dial to the COVID-19 pandemic that shifted ideas of the home, and the sanctity of having secure shelter. In doing so, these artists bring forth questions about our individual and collective experiences of home.
Home/Work includes new works by emerging and established artists, including: Brandy Eve Allen, Zalika Azim, Kate Barbee, Phoebe Boswell, Andrea Bowers, Allana Clarke, Geoffrey Chadsey, Judy Chicago, Woody de Othello, Mary Kelly, Emmett Moore, Sophia Narrett, Greg Scott, and Chiffon Thomas. The works on view reflect on the unique and intimate experiences of the artists and invite us to consider how we achieve balance between work and and home life. This show invites the public to consider their own experiences, reflecting on the overlap of home and work, and all that is in between.
From literal depictions of household spaces to abstract sculptures, the exhibition explores the theme of home in various forms and mediums. Works by Andrea Bowers, Judy Chicago, and Mary Kelly explore the domestic through a feminist lens, offering perspectives on women’s efforts to gain equality. With Peace Is the Only Shelter and We Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire, Mary Kelly restages a protest by Women’s Strike for Peace, a group of women activists in the 1960s, who used the slogans depicted here in their campaign for nuclear disarmament. This pivotal effort brought the stay-at-home mother into a position of political power that helped bring about the historic signing of a Test Ban Treaty in 1962. This work invites us to look at the way that women’s departure from the home helped to inform the most important social movements of our time.
The home, of course, is not always a place of happiness, and Trinidadian-American artist Allana Clarke will present “My Mouth,” an abstract sculpture that questions the visible and invisible violence that can emerge from the home. The work is inspired by a ritual Clarke experienced as a child, and which she describes as “indoctrinating me into a world that is anti-Black,” the use of hair bonding glue. For the exhibition Clarke has created a sculpture that she begins by pouring large amounts of hair bonding glue onto a flat mesh surface, and then pulling, pinching, twisting, and pushing the glue, like one might do to hair. The resulting work looks at the way she was encouraged her to unnaturally alter her appearance for perceived social advantages.
Other more direct contemplations on the notion of home are included in the exhibition as well, many inspired by the extreme isolation of the early months of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Brandy Eve Allen, Kate Barbee, Phoebe Boswell, Sophia Narrett, and Greg Scott all present works that look at the way our domestic space shifted dramatically once it became a place of isolation rather than respite, as we all moved into lockdown in 2020. Boswell created a series of paintings that captured a factory outside her window at different times of day, offering her relief from the monotony of being trapped inside. Brandy Eve Allen looked to the outside world as well, asking members of her community to pose for portraits at the height of quarantine. The resulting body of photographs features people standing alone in their home, with a light on, capturing the aching isolation of the time.
Taken together the works in Home/Work offer a multitude of perspectives on home and our relationship to the outside world. In doing so, the exhibition invites visitors to take the works as a starting point to think about their own domestic spheres, and the care and challenges we all face in those spaces.
Chiffon Thomas is also presenting a workshop on Jan 18, 2023 from 4-6 p.m.
The Home/Work exhibit is presented by Trust Automation, with additional support provided by Barbara Renshaw, Hotel SLO, KSBY and the City of San Luis Obispo.
The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art is located at 1010 Broad St., on the west end of Mission Plaza. Hours are Thu-Mon 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Tue and Wed and major holidays. Admission is free. For more information about exhibits, events and membership visit sloma.org or call (805) 543-8562.