Full Artist's statement
Few topics are as important today as migration and immigration. Everyone has a point of origin—a geographic location, a personally held belief, or a cultural allegience. Our points of origin shape and enrich each of us in ways that last a lifetime. The installation, Point of Origin, addresses this theme and is part sculpture, part theatrical set, and part visual journet that the artist and viewer take together.
My point of origin is rooted in central Virginia, specifically the Piedmont region of the state. It is approximately 100 miles west of Washington, DC and slightly east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The region holds a complex memory of historic and political power, including Civil War battles and slavery that is paradoxically mixed with the great natural beauty of the landscape. Point of Origin explores the memory held by the land and its inhabitants.
The installation is constructed mainly of paper and paper-related materials, including Lenox 100 paper, acrylic paint, and wood. Through the installation, a descriptive or narative environment is not intended, but rather it is an attempt to convey a strong sense of psychological impact. The installation covers an area approximately 16 x 22 feet.
During the installation period, viewers are invited to take a pre-cut piece of paper from a provided stack of cut-outs, sign their first name and point of origin on the paper, then place the cut-out over a wooden spindle. During the course of the exhibition an intermingled totem evolves. The intent of the interactive component is to acknowledge the importance of including our similarities and differences without imposing bans or restrictions.
© Judith Pratt 2018