Oppression, suppression, detachment, growth

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Janis Parker (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Marya Roland

Abstract: Since 2007 I have been creating installation art with the plant kudzu as the primary medium. My work often develops by changing over a period of time. In some of my work I use the pared down, dried kudzu vine as 3-dimensional “drawings” that emphasize pure form, lines, and shape. In other installations, I am inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy and Louise Bourgeois where the materials used, support the idea behind the art. In these I make metaphorical references to what the kudzu does: overwhelm almost everything in its path. This focus evolved into my thesis installation titled, Oppression, Suppression, Detachment, Growth. The work has been documented since May 2009. In it, I used growing kudzu and personal objects related to my family. Both the kudzu and objects are saturated with meaning. Together, given time in their environment, they convey a narrative of family dysfunction and abuse. This documented thesis and museum installation began by my clearing a twentyfoot by twenty-foot kudzu infested hillside in Sylva. This outdoor environment was chosen to inform and develop the art. The majority of the objects included in this installation originally belonged to three generations of my family. Their arrangements are a reflection of my family history, one of oppression and suppression and my subsequent detachment from family events. The installation changed with the seasons and became more focused to a specific and inevitable outcome due to the damaging effects of the ruthless kudzu growth. Metaphorically, the results of this study illustrate a dichotomy: that tenacious growth can be positive and that family dysfunction can easily reoccur.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Environmental Art, Installation Art, Kudzu
Installations (Art)
Found objects (Art)
Plants in art

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