Artist Statement

In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Where Watching God, she describes the altered state of a woman seeking resolution and solace in prayer:

“There is a basin in the mind where words float around a thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought” 

 Acknowledging a sense of loss and gratitude in daily life, I layer the surfaces of my pieces with patterns which suggest my choices, history and faith. Each object made reflects moments of meditation and a longing for grace.  In pursuit of truth, my spiritual identity emerges. My soul’s yearning for a connection fuels my imagination. To my audience, I whisper about my search with the physical, indelible mark of the stitch.  

Recently, I have begun to contemplate pivotal experiences which permanently alter a person’s life and path. Through both unsettling and alluring imagery, I reveal the psychological impact of family dysfunction.  Each generation within a family inherits not only genetics but, patterns of behavior.  Whatever physiological, emotional, psychological, or spiritual residue is imbedded by both constructive and destructive family models, this work discusses a balance between beauty and distortion and the endurance of the human spirit.

Foundress exists as the first in a new body of work titled Same Old Wounds. The nest seen at the bottom of this work is that of a Yellow Jacket. These colonies usually last only one season and die away during the harsh winter months. Every year the new nest is begun by a single queen known as the foundress. Her legacy perseveres to rekindle her hostile swarm. A yellow jacket can sting multiple times. The unfortunate person who encounters these wasps becomes increasingly sensitive to the sting. Correlating the nature of these creatures with thoughts of dysfunctional family legacies, I see that, within families, significant events, words and behaviors occur and are absorbed into our daily routine without examination. Some happen in a breath while others linger endlessly either corroding or correcting our core. Our minds and bodies are formed. We either languish with our habits or are reborn with a new perspective. 

Meredith Grimsley is one of the exhibiting artists for Mindful: Exploring Mental Health through Art.

"Same Old Wounds: Family Legacy"
by Meredith Grimsley

Performed on Saturday, September 19, 2015 in conjunction with the opening weekend of "Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art."