I use humble everyday materials to simulate fragile moments that live in between abandonment and renewal, connecting emotional and physical landscapes of home. Inspiration is drawn from the mundane tasks of everyday life, memories, fragile narratives, and complex emotional support systems that inhabit the home. In my process there remains ever present, a cyclical act of accumulating, repurposing, and building. My installations and sculptures are precarious and redolent with gestures of longing for stability within the home.
Gaston Bachelard stated that “homes are in us as much as we are in them.” My concept of home represents an ambivalence, as a space that can be supportive and nurturing, and at the same time oppressive and disorienting. In my work, I express complex relationships in a space where melancholy is materialized. For instance, hollow paper cinder blocks stand in for emotional boundaries, while disjointed paper casted window frames collapse into diverse perspectives. Using repurposed, discarded materials to create metaphors for emotional support structures, the work expresses this ambivalent urgency to bury the past, while existing in the present with resilient adaptability.
The materials that I primarily use are clay, paper, and fiber because they are easily accessible and are a part of everyday life. I also appreciate how elemental and easily overlooked they become as an everyday material. In these works that are redolent with ambiguity, tattered, disjointed paper windows sag off the wall, while dusty colorful fibers entangle voids for these sculptures. Some discarded materials used are shredded clothing from the inside of a punching bag, and reclaimed clay shavings. The physical properties of my materials which were once delicate and flexible are now stiff and dried. Essentially, we touch clay every day; from the ceramic plates off of which we eat, to the coffee cup we hold as we read, to the porcelain sinks and toilets that we use daily. I am interested in using clay in its broken-down stages to highlight the elemental tactility of the material as traces and remnants of human lived experiences. Building from humble materials and abstracting them into metaphors of specific human experiences compels me to continuously search for redemptive moments in these fragile narratives.
April Wright is a visual artist from Germantown, Tennessee. She uses humble, everyday materials to connect personal narratives about home, relationships, memory, and identity. 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, 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. Currently, she resides in Frostburg, Maryland where she teaches foundations in art as a Lecturer at Frostburg State University.