L: vessel, 2017, wicker, rattan, and seagrass baskets, raffia hats, linen; R: shedding, 2017, molted snakeskin, white glue, bleached denim, sand
Charity Harris: Southernoids II: Symposium
In conjunction with Idea Capital, HATHAWAY is proud to present Southernoids II: Symposium, a solo exhibition by installation and sculpture artist, Charity Harris. Southernoids II: Symposium will open concurrently with Abstract Tendencies, an exhibition of contemporary abstract painting, featuring work by Whitney Wood Bailey, Khalilah Birdsong, Carol John, and Fran O’Neill.
Charity Harris is an Atlanta-based artist who creates fashion sculptures from second-hand and ready-made materials. Harris uses her Southern upbringing as the driving force for the content that fuels her work—race, religion and the human relationship to nature. She combines the use of "humble materials" with her love of natural textures and historic costume to express her unique experiences that explore Southern identity as an African-American woman. In the time spent obtaining a Bachelor of Arts from Georgia State University, her study of fashion expanded to an exploration of textiles to ultimately merging fiber and sculpture. Harris is a Windgate Fellowship finalist and, most recently, an Idea Capital Grant recipient. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia and has been featured in the textile magazine, Fiber Art Now.
Southernoids II: Symposium is the second body of work in the Southernoids series. This work continues my investigation of unusual textures to illustrate the complex identity of the South and its difficult history with race, religion, and its relationship with nature. As a black woman from the South, I look to not only to my own personal experiences to inform my work, but also interpret the connection between historical and contemporary cultural practices and happenings at large. Creating the installation and wearable sculptures, I invite others into a narrative that I believe shows an unrepresented side of Southern culture. The idea of the large table as the centerpiece of the exhibition was born of my desire to construct a safe space for dialogue about these difficult topics. Traditionally, the table in Southern culture signifies a place of agency for thoughts and opinions to be heard. The last setting—the head of the table—is left open for the viewer to engage the issues that surround the culture of the South.