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Katherine Conley
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2020

Mommy’s overalls, bluebirds, the front porch roof — this is what the color blue means to me. But my experience is not universal. For some, the color is a source of pride. But for those Africans and Indigenous people forced into slavery – the color’s history tells a story of loss and suffering.

In some ways this work is about guilt. Guilt for my ancestor’s role in these dark histories and disappointment in the way our country continues to neglect African American and Indigenous communities in the Southeast. But mostly, this is my story and my experience with a color that defined and then reshaped my memories of home. These are experiences born and transformed by the privilege that comes with having white skin.

Using personal and historic objects, photographs of home, and historic indigo dye processes, I reevaluate my memories of home from an ever evolving perspective of privilege.

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