Tales from the shade of the South
Groundstory was organized with support from The Margaret Virginia Philip Art Endowment Fund. The exhibition was a gathering of visual artists and writers whose work is rooted to places with a firm foundation in the southeastern United States. They narrate tales, piecing together location, history and experience through nuance and direct narrative. Some shovel stories into grains of a photograph, others lay words like bricks into a poem. They might include objects that reveal where the author comes from, that pose questions like where were they found—were they dug up, and if so, how deeply were they buried? Weather systems might play an important role, from the swell of a flood to a too bright day. Many who spend considerable time in these humid climes are storytellers. Through the land flows their sense of selves. Stories of devotion and death are embedded in raked red earth yards and in houses of peeling paint. In Groundstory, the artist’s notion of what a story is expanded just like the contradictions of the place.
Groundstory was the second in a series of storytelling exhibitions, with the first being 2006’s Blackbird on your shoulder: stories and other truths from the South.
-Lisa Alembik, Dalton Gallery curator 2002-2013