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Jeffrey Morton
Tennessee

Artist Statement Submitted 2019

If place, according to art critic Lucy Lippard, is the latitudinal and longitudinal map of a person’s life, then my art has literally helped me find a home. As a transplant to the southeast twenty years ago, my art has taught me about the significance of being grounded in a place, a specific location. Unique to the American South is the kudzu plant that thrives in a climate different from its home. In Japan, kudzu is a decorative plant with a pretty purple flower; however, in a new location, kudzu is used to fight erosion. At first I thought that this foreign plant doesn’t belong here, and neither do I. But after crawling through the landscape of the south and navigating the invasive vine, making drawings and paintings from it, I have learned to love the strange plant and the landscape of my adopted home.

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