On Tuesday, March 26, 2013 3:02 PM Meg Aubrey wrote:
Christina, I just went by Hagedorn and saw your show. So glad I did, the size and quality of your pictures demands seeing them in person. I especially connected with the grass and tree images. Meg
On Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 10:56 AM Christina Price Washington wrote:
Meg, good morning. sorry for the late response…Well, the grass is very significant in terms of finishing the construction of a home here in the USA; to obtain a permit to reside in the home, the grass gets rolled out like a carpet. Visitors from other countries always laugh, that the grass does not have to grow; it is being produced, bought and installed. The idea of “organic” has shifted from what ought to be natural to look natural. Afterwards the idea of maintenance of it is more the idea of control. Perhaps this is reflected in the photographs of the grass. Your work looks as if you look to photography that allows you then to isolate the monotonous components of the landscape of suburbia. Also, I respond to the women, shall I say the perfect women, in the perfect suburban landscape—hair, body, accessories, a kind of uniform of sorts that depicts style, fashion and the agreement of values and mores through appearance? C
On Saturday, March 30, 2013 9:26 AM Meg Aubrey wrote:
Christina, The extreme close range at which you view the grass in your photographs force the view to confront what the green expanse represents in suburbia. Grass has always been one of the most important elements in my paintings. I live in suburbia and see the grass as an outward sign of what the owner wants to project to the outside world. If their grass is perfect, then the life they are leading must be perfect as well. I portray the grass as flat expanses of color without any imperfections. Those whose grass is exceedingly pleasing to look at feel a sense of superiority and control over their environment.
On Sat, Mar 30, 2013 at 5:59 PM Christina Price Washington wrote:
meg, I believe that this is derived out of the image of organization, a Fordism/ Taylorism that was constructed in the early 19th century, a model to demonstrate labor control practices that served to strengthen and reinforced the laborer in his position in the American economic structure. The green grass during the cold war era has transformed into a symbol that displayed the laborer’s success through accumulation of (consumer) goods. This makes me think about Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road…
How is your grass? Does it reflect your sense of control? It was pointed out to me that the grass in my work is not superior grass…I live by a very well-manicured golf course, and have done many photographic studies on how to formally play with all the green. But you also have the female in your work; is she, like the grass, on display? Is the green grass a display of masculinity?
On Monday, April 1, 2013 8:55 AM Meg Aubrey wrote:
The green grass is not a display of masculinity; it is control and perceived perfection. My personal grass is acceptable but is not one of the lawns that is highly admired. We do make sure to keep the grass at an acceptable level with the neighborhood standard, if not we would be in violation of community rules! As for the females in my work they are the vehicle from which I view the entire community. They are shown without their husbands or children as they navigate the controlled environment in which they have chosen to live. Like the grass, how these women look (clothes, hair, etc) become the uniform of suburbia and express to the world that they belong in the environment. The TV series WEEDS is a good example of the suburban facade that hides the true reality of a person’s life. I hope that my figures create those kinds of questions in the viewers’s minds.
Both of us avoid using the actual “house” in our work and describe the environment through alternative symbolic elements, can you discuss this?
On Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 10:12 PM Christina Price Washington wrote:
Interesting; the work at the Hagedorn Foundation Gallery was created at the end of 2009. It was however the forerunner of what ultimately became the body of work called Studies from Home. With that I was investigating what home meant. Studies from Home does not show the house either. It was important to me to think of home in terms of the significance of it, how it is created and how that then is manifested …through living in it, our rituals, and our living patterns. There was a time where I shot videos and photographs inside the home of living patterns and fixtures, but I covered the walls and windows with huge amounts of muslin, so the actual walls would not be in view. Perhaps the actual manifestation of the house, its walls, would connote or represent too much of a lifestyle, and this is not what the work was about. I am not interested to make work that represents anything of me. The essence is what constitutes the home, not how the home is represented. What it the reason for you to avoid the actual home? C
On Apr 6, 2013, at 10:11 AM Meg Aubrey wrote:
I am commenting on the suburbs as an insider but I have placed myself in a position as participant and critic. My work does represent who I am and helps me come to terms with many of the decisions I have made in my life. I do not show the actual homes because the architecture holds no importance, it could be anyone’s home in any suburb in North America. I only need to show the identical trash cans and mailboxes for the viewer to understand the houses are all essentially the same. They are dwellings that have been designed for the masses and those who live in them fool themselves that they have chosen a custom existence. I use the outside environment to present the rituals and living patterns of the women who live there.
On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 5:29 PM Christina Washington wrote:
Meg, I am the biggest fool, trying to fit in a neighborhood…. It is amusing since I am actively sitting at the gate to fly “home” to Germany. The grass is a kind of boundary crossing, as if to enter someone’s space but you have not quite reached it. It is this curious space “in between,” as are the photographs of the glass of the home. Considering that in order to articulate the home I choose objects that join or define the premise, in this case the idea of home. To be able to know where you belong (as in society or, what kind of neighborhood…) would defeat the idea to illustrate the boundary because one has chosen a where to belong and occupies that specific space. It is my attempt to keep that space lively …meaning to keep the idea of the home flexible. I have to board now. I will be in between homes, not on the ground, in the air.
As a last thought, I look to understand how the idea of home is changing; not only in terms of Suburbia and the framework of community, but how the idea of home is a dynamic force. Locale of home is changing; economic forces are catalyst for change, children move on. Suburbia denotes a demographic for a certain point of time. What is left is the framework of suburban houses and their communities. My interest is to understand the margin and it’s appearance. C
Meg Aubrey has a MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. She has been awarded the Hambidge Residency Award from the Fulton County Arts Council, the Encore Series Award from Savannah College of Art and Design and was selected as a finalist for the Forward Arts Emerging Artist Award for 2011. Meg is an adjunct professor of Foundations Studies at Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. She is represented by Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta.
Christina Price Washington lives and works in Atlanta since 1986; she received BFA from the Atlanta C0llege of Art in 1993, and a MFA in photography from Georgia State University in 2012. She is currently working on MA in Art History.