Knoxville, TN | Sculpture, Mixed Media, Time-based, Performance, Installation, Video
Caroline Covington is an emerging artist living and working in Knoxville, TN. Her experiences growing up in a military family and transplanting throughout the US and Europe have fueled her passion for interactive, ephemeral installations that incorporate traditional object-making with performance and video. Caroline earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2012 and also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Georgia. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at Pellissippi State Community College where she teaches sculpture and art history.
Gruesome rituals, violent superstitions, and archaic rites of passage reflect our own familiar customs still accepted by our contemporary communities. My work exposes the anxieties and apprehensions felt towards the myths of the past and the uncertainties of the future through interactive installations incorporating found and fabricated objects, performance, video, and monumental structures. As viewers consider the work and the narratives therein, a sense of dread stirs both memories and premonitions, fueling fears and disrupting intimacy. The work engulfs each individual, making it unclear whether the participants are the catalysts or the consequences. Viewers must examine the role of the victim and the perpetrator, how unexpectedly these distinctions can be blurred, and how pervasively these contradictory roles occur in everyday life.
My studio practice encompasses both traditional object-making with work in the expanded field. The performative element in my sculptures provokes physical empathy between the piece, the artist, and the viewers. Whether the performance involves the viewerʼs body directly or offers an opportunity for reflection, his or her reactions complete the piece with often unpredictable outcomes. My creative methods resemble a healer or soothsayer, allowing my body to tell universal narratives in a particular moment of time, while the objects left behind resemble memorials to change and impermanence. Through the examination and transformation of materials, images, and spaces, I develop my own personal rituals for contemplation and communication with the audience.
In my most recent series, Vincible considers those common experiences that dramatically shift the trajectories of our lives. Despite the assortment of histories and backgrounds, we all experience a moment when we understand that our bodies are no longer invincible. Consciously or unconsciously, from that moment onward, we begin to consider the outcome of pain, or potential harm to our bodies, before making decisions. We are all limited by our bodies and must accept our own mortality. In the end, we all take chances, and in that way, accept the inevitability of chance.
I create sewn, sculptural objects that reflect both the catalyst of these memories and the constant reminder of the consequences. These benign, intimate objects stir both comfort and dread. After considering the work, the viewer is asked to contribute his or her own transformative moment through written responses and sketches. After showing this work in several venues, I have over 150 stories, and the piece keeps growing.