SPARK! Maine ART Stories runs from November 3, 2017-March 30, 2018
at The Maine Historical Society
The Maine Historical Society is the official state historical society of Maine. It is located at 489 Congress Street in downtown Portland.
The exhibit will be in the Shettleworth Hall, and will highlight 15 artists at the museum. The exhibit will complement, expand, and diversify the themes expressed in the Creative Maine: Trade banners and the crafts that built Maine exhibit in the main gallery of MHS. We will explore the varied ways that people in Maine express themselves today, incorporating My Maine Stories components alongside physical works.
The exhibit is based in the theory that Maine has always been a place where people have expressed creativity. From the earliest projectile points created from Mount Kineo Rhyolite, to 19th century craftspeople, to contemporary artists who flock to Maine for our light, people are inspired by the region’s natural beauty and unique lifestyle. The goals are to exhibit people from all walks of life, all parts of Maine, and varied media; to encourage visitors to “see themselves” in those selections; and encourage everyone to contribute their “creative Maine story” to the My Maine Stories online story collective.
This work explores the complexity of sexual identity and gender. It was inspired by drag performances where men alter their bodies to appear as women. I was permitted to photograph performers while doing hair and makeup prior to a performance. One performer, Chocolat, granted me the privilege of sharing an intimate moment, as she donned her wig.
In designing Temptation, I began with the photos of Chocolat with and without, her wig. I included the Renaissance-era portrayal of Eve, narcissus flowers and a beribboned hand. Issues of sexual identity and concepts such as innocence, enlightenment and individuality were on my mind while working on this tapestry.