Rebecca Bird Grigsby - home

My first show of paintings in 2003, mostly paper, acrylic, and oil on canvas, was inspired in part by Brigitte Rouan's film outremer. Researching the film, about 3 sisters in post-colonial French Algeria, I came across phrases that became titles for the nearly 20 paintings that would make up this body of work, phrases like "beyond the mother," the literal translation of the modified title for the show, outre-mère, "geographical displacement," and "objects of childhood desire." Interested in juxtaposing this serendipitously found text with intensely personal imagery, I utilized representation and surface abstraction to explore the mother-daughter relationship, and the cycle of loss, memory, and desire. During graduate school, I continued to explore the intersection of displacement, loss, memory, and objects by creating interactive installations using both print, primarily screenprint, and digital mediums. With The Lost Object Project I began soliciting stories from the general public about lost objects for a primarily web-based exhibition of virtual memorials. I became interested in the irrational affection we feel towards inanimate objects as well as the narrative and meaning that get attached to these otherwise mundane materials over time. I rendered these objects ephemeral through the collected stories. My primary intention was to memorialize these narratives, but the project also nods, both in its title and structure, to some of the key developments of conceptual art of the 1970s as it related to the status of the art object and the ongoing tension between the object and the idea. In Everything Round Invites A Caress, a title taken from Gaston Bachelard's Poetics of Space, I began to explore stories of female becoming other than my own. Films about such stories largely inspired the project and quotes from these films found their way into this project as text in several ways. With Union, a CMYK screenprint on a continuous roll of wallpaper approximately 30 feet in length, I focused on one such film, Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, interested in the collaborative creation of the central character in the film as she comes of age in a foreign country. I’ve returned to these ideas around coming of age, layering elements of character, actor, and director to create a composite, in my most recent project Who is Amanda Fisher?, in which I return to the subject matter of my deceased mother but insert myself more directly into the work’s investigation. This most recent project also taps back into ideas around objects and ephemera from The Lost Object Project as well as a more socially-engaged method of creating work.

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