Modfellows Art Gallery / 3655 Trousdale Dr., Studio C June 16, 2023 - July 15, 2023

Ford William

Ford William is a self-taught artist based in Nashville, Tennessee. FIGHT | FLIGHT | FAWN | FREEZE is Ford's debut solo exhibit and features sculptural and other 3D painted work on wood.

FIGHT | FLIGHT | FAWN | FREEZE is an imaginative depiction of the four primary stress responses humans instinctively deploy when we sense danger. The show reflects on some of the issues our stress responses can cause, including when we are in "survival mode"—when we (often without realizing it) spend an extended period exclusively trapped in one or more of these four stress responses—as well as the maladaptive nature of our stress responses in modern-day society.

The show's concept stems from Ford's experience—having spent years living in the unconscious and unsustainable chaos of survival mode—and his journey of learning (and unlearning) to move towards a healthier, more stable, and integrated existence.

After exiting survival mode and coming online again, Ford began making art to practice the skills needed to help prevent re-entering chronic stress-response states in the future. Specifically, he makes art to practice self-compassion, tame his inner critic, and move away from the shame-based avoidance and anxiety that were the root cause of many of his behavioral patterns.

Ford creates playful, imaginative, and often humorous pieces that have been described as folk, outsider, or naive art. Themes in his work frequently relate to aspects of mental health, various absurdities of society, or information learned from his years spent obsessively researching anything & everything as a means of avoiding his feelings.