Tennessee Artist

11 - Amelia Briggs—Avoiding Symmetry, Thrifting Materials & Finding her own Voice as an Artist by Vivian Liddell

Amelia Briggs on Connecting with Viewers without Using Narrative:

These are simply very formal paintings. I have finally gotten to a point where I've just been able to own that in interviews or in conversations about my work. I used to try to like hide that or I would make up things that weren't necessarily true (laughs) because I would feel defensive about it. But I was finally just like, I need to be honest about that. Like these to me in a lot of ways are very formal; I'm not thinking about heavy issues necessarily when I'm making these. However, I will say then when you brought up narrative... I do think about that in my work. What am I trying to achieve with these paintings?

I really like to think of these objects that I'm making as something similar to like, you know, when you're shopping in a vintage store or something and you come across an old toy, or like baby blanket or something—maybe stained, it's like a beautiful object, it's just like kind of worn, it has all this history behind it—and this weird feeling of this connection to it, because maybe you recognize something about it from your own childhood. Or the color. Or it sparks this kind of nostalgia. But you don't know what that history is, and there's nothing clearly spelled out there. You know, there's not like a story with it...

I like to think of these as sparking some kind of recognition in the viewer.

 

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