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Fine Arts Talk | Amber Doe: Self-Portrait


Amber Doe

This event will be in English.

Material as metaphor is the foundation of my artistic practice. My work springs from ancestral connection and environment - natural and societal. As a descendant of American slavery I look at black experience through subject and material.

Self-Portrait is foundational to material as metaphor. Composed of unravelled organic cotton rope and metal hoops. The concept of home security and ownership is central to the “American Dream” and the meritocratic myth of upward mobility in black communities. African Americans have been disproportionately left out of home ownership through institutionalized racist structures like redlining and loan terms.

Nature is at the forefront of my artistic process. When conceptualizing “Self-Portrait” I thought of the spider and its ability to literally create its own home wherever it finds itself by spinning an organic substance from its core. Connecting to my own roots as a descendant of American chattel slavery, I connected to cotton as a material considering it was a considered a cash crop in the same way as black Africans. The self-portrait takes the shape of a hoop skirt connecting to gender and colonial southern fashion and it is covered in hand stitched organic cotton rope, it is a literal and abstract portrait. It serves as a larger portrait of black Americans beyond strictly personal representation. Additionally, I will talk about the installation of Monticello as a further example of material as metaphor.

Feb 2, 2022 06:00 PM in Rome

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