Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Clarice Hess Reviews Rebecca Drolen

The Transplant show at Northwest Vista by Rebecca Drolen consisted of a long hallway and several rooms lined with portraits of people positioned in front of various foliage. Beside the portraits were photos of just foliage. These portraits were fascinating in the way they portrayed landscape through demographics. In her artist statement she talked about how each person was someone who came to the South from somewhere else and how she has pinpointed “Southern identity” as one of the main focal points of this work. Personally, I was intrigued by the use of portrait as showing a sense of place instead of person, or rather a group persona relating to place instead of an individual. Each portrait and the people within them can be viewed as an individual, but in the context of the whole work it ceases to be about the person in the picture. And yet, at the same time those people are what the work is about, specifically people who were transplanted into the South. This tug of war between the individual in each portrait and the whole sense of place or group persona that the entire work embodies is something that I would enjoy playing with in my own work.

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