Artist Talk // WEDES  Sarah Rowe + Angela Simione, moderated by Alex Priest

April 14, 2017

WEDES, opening Friday, April 14, at Darger HQ, will feature work by Sarah Rowe (Omaha, Nebraska) and Angela Simione (New York, New York) and will be on view through June 4.  The opening reception will be 6:00 to 9:00 pm, with an artist talk at 6:30 pm, moderated by Alex Priest, Exhibition Manager of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Both artists are inspired by traditional crafts and the work embodies illustrations of everyday objects as metaphors of self-identity, boundaries and protection.  WEDES, (pronounced weeds), is a traditional mourning garment.  Simione and Rowe decided upon WEDES as the exhibition title due to the current dreary political climate and both use clothing as a means to express hidden or hard emotions, and the double entendres of the word: weeds spreading, unruliness, the infringement on an unwanted entity, etc.

Based in New York, Angela Simione takes text from her own hand-written diary and transforms them onto crocheted work and charcoal drawings.  Using the details of her biographical reality, she explores the nature of identity construction and personal signification.  These signs, fragmented and removed from their original context, insist upon the malleability of reality based on perception, proximity, and legibility. Not all signs are written in a clear script or appear the way we are trained to expect. They can take the form of a sweater and present the body as a billboard. They can take the form of a drawing, be tacked to a wall, and stake the outline of a deep, hidden reality. But regardless of form, Simione is interested in this charting out of attraction and fear as a means of mapping identity.

Lakota artist Sarah Rowe confronts issues regarding self-identity and exploitation, and re-imagines traditional Native American symbology and dream images to fit the narrative of today’s cultural landscape. Drawing from skewed imagery in storybooks and history books, in conjunction with images from historical winter counts, Sarah projects her vision and experience into the mix with an offbeat enchantment. Rowe's imagined landscapes are bold and vibrant, containing a shape shifting bestiary layered in tales both familiar and strange.  Rowe lives and works in Omaha.