I use humble everyday materials in my sculptures and installations to simulate fragile moments that live in between abandonment and renewal. Subverting the idealized home, I explore the physical and psychic remnants of these spaces. In my process there remains a cyclical act of accumulating, repurposing, and building. Themes of enduring interest are ideals of domesticity, fragile narratives, belonging, and memory.
Gaston Bachelard stated that “homes are in us as much as we are in them.” My concept of home is best interpreted though a lens of ambivalence. This space can be both supportive and nurturing, as well as oppressive and disorienting. I embrace this ambivalence creating a feeling of both familiarity and displacement in my sculptures and installations. I work with traditional sculpture and craft practices in an unconventional manner. This gives me room for new methods of making to evolve in the studio. For instance, I use discarded crushed figurines and broken plastic wedding cake parts to build an elaborate assemblage resembling a dilapidated wedding cake which reconstructs the ideals of the wedding. I also have altered the material of a picket fence from wood to wire and shredded clothing found inside of a punching bag. This gives new meaning to the charged material that is connected to the domestic labor that surrounds the home. It also highlights the invisibility of that labor while breaking down social norms.
As an artist, I am drawn to material first and then the manipulation and associations creating metaphors with those materials. My current works explore both the interior and exterior physical and emotional spaces that surround the home. Specifically from a woman’s perspective.
April Wright is a visual artist and professor from Germantown, Tennessee. She uses humble, everyday materials to connect personal narratives about home and ideals of domesticity. She received her B.A. in Sculpture and Ceramics from Union University and her M.F.A. in Art Studio at the University of Kentucky with a focus in Ceramics and Fibers in 2020. She works interdisciplinary in sculpture and installation art.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums and galleries, such as the Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan, Alabama and Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco, CA, Woman Made Gallery Chicago, Illinois, The Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska, and Boom 48hr Student Neukolln Artist Festival, Berlin, Germany. She has been an artist in resident at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art Columbia, South Carolina in 2020 and Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, California from fall 2020-2021, and the Tend Artist Residency at the Walkaway House in North Adams, MA in 2023. Currently, she resides in Frostburg, Maryland as professor of sculpture and gallery director at Frostburg State University.