Elizabeth Alexander

Winston-Salem, NC

The American Dream and aspirations of comfortable living have never felt within easy reach for my generation, but as a young wife I am the target market for this ideal.  The ubiquitous notion of the American home as a symbol for status, power, and security has led me to examine my own relationship with home and consider its untidy aspects.  Living with and loving others who battle mental illness and chronic pain has complicated my experience with private space. 

Repetitive labor, such as paper cutting or casting, has become a centering element in my process.  A combination of cast paper sculpture, sculptural collage, and altered objects are my methods for deconstructing domestic vignettes of traditional success and beauty. This labored breakdown of archetypes unveils a rot behind the shiny exterior while mirroring the cultural pressure to gloss over personal turmoil and carry on. 

Welders Daughter: Safe and Powerless- The Waiting Room is revisiting a series from 2011 about my experience as a professional welder outside of the family fabrication business, where I grew up. Conversations around shortages of PPE and the pandemic highlighting systemic inequities for basic care and safety have brought me back to this autobiographical series about class and gender identity.  However, this time I am reckoning with my own feelings of helplessness and anticipating loss. I am feeling as if all of my knowledge about basic safety equipment is not enough to protect myself and my loved ones.

Elizabeth Alexander is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculptures and installations made from deconstructed domestic materials. Through labored processes separating decorative print from found objects she unearths elements of human behavior and hidden emotional lives that exist within the walls of our homes. She holds degrees in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy, MFA, and Massachusetts College of Art, BFA, where she discovered the complex nature of dissecting objects of nostalgia. Alexander’s work has recently been featured in the Burke Prize Finalist exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design, State of the art at the Crystal Bridges Museum, and will be featured in Paper Routes, Women to Watch 2020 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and is included in permanent collections at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. She is currently an Associate Professor at the UNC School of the Arts.

©SECCA Foundation 2020. All rights reserved.
Website built with Cargo.