Artist Statement

 

For many years, I have been researching and exploring American and African history. I have traveled the southern expanse of the United States, lived among southern people, and interviewed southerners and members of my own family in order to capture the heart of the South in my art. In addition, I have explored race and culture beyond America’s shores and it has given me a deeper look into my own history as well as America’s.

Though I was trained as a Commercial Artist, I also am a painter that works experimentally across various media, In 2012, I began to make what I call “wall quilts” that combined handmade paper, quilted fabric, and painting. The wall art quilt titled “Plantation Sunday” was selected for a defender of women and girl rights in Africa Glory Kilanko video at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Acrylics have been a media of choice because of it is most forgiving. 

In my paintings, characters are thoughtfully placed and relay a sense of history, insight, and cross all boundaries. One example of elements that will cross boundaries is to draw on personal stories. I am an Artist in every sense of the word. I lived in the South for 17 years and constantly travel to the south. I am a born researcher and my love for history and detail spill into my art. Preachers, teachers, ordinary folks, they are my muses.  Southerner's rich history, musicians, farmers, like my framer Clarence Washington, who picked cotton on a plantation.

While I am influenced by great historical figures, like Harriet Tubman that freed over 300 African American slaves and changed the face of history, I am also influenced by my family members, my neighbors, and everyday people. My mother is a creative spirit. She designs and makes clothing, jewelry and crochets. One of my earliest memory of her creating is when she put a rock wall up in the hallway and spray painted it gold in the early 1970’s. She created clothes for me because it was economical and we couldn’t always afford to buy them.

Currently, I am in my final year at Chrisitan Theological Seminary. The experience at the Seminary has broadened my lens. My view is wider to see all of God's people instead of looking through embedded knowledge. I am using this information and experiences in a thought-provoking one-woman show in fall 2018. The history of American slavery will be examined, researched and painted. I hope you will check the section "Exploration" for more updates about the show. 

  Michele Wood 
-Michele