Nashville, TN | Sculpture, Mixed Media, Photography, Drawing
Alexandra Jo Sutton received her MFA degree in studio art from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her work includes sculpture, experimental photography, installation, and video. Centering on memory, time, nature, and the body, her work involves a sensitivity to materials and includes experimental practices from growing crystals to body casting. Alexandra has recently had noteworthy exhibitions at Mixed Greens Gallery in Chelsea, NYC and Marginal Utility in Philadelphia, PA. She is originally from the small town of Clanton, Alabama where she grew up eating peaches and loving animals. She lived in Philadelphia for four years while earning her MFA and working in arts administration. Now, she lives in Nashville, TN and teaches studio art/art history at Belmont University and Austin Peay State University.
Memory, the simultaneous truth and falseness of it, is a recurring theme in my work. An entire world can be built around the center of a memory or the fabrication of one. Remembering is subjective, not entirely lie, but never completely truth. Where I grew up, and with whom, (what happened in reality and how I remember those events) forever shape the things that I see and say and make from the inside out. In the middle of us, there is memory, and it is from there that our reality, our world, is constructed.
I am drawn to the relationship between the imprint of physical touch and the concept of memory, and use a combination of material approaches to explore the significance of ritual in re-constructing memory over a period of time. Attention to materiality is an integral part of my practice. The work often lends itself to intuitively driven processes like documenting and mapping time, creating and curating artifacts, and investigating both the visible and invisible in the history of an environment. I investigate the body as a landscape, a negative space, and an instrument for documenting gestures and actions by creating small scale sculptures in plaster and ceramics. Natural artifacts imbibed with personal meaning like magnolia leaves and crystals, time-based cyanotype photography practices, along with sewing as a repetitive construction technique and the indexical nature of casting/mold making play important roles in the construction of and meaning behind my work. The process of creating each artwork acts as a ritual, reflecting the psychological effort of (and imperfections in) recalling and re-building a memory. The works create textured visual experiences that speak to the overlay of time, material, absence, and meaning.