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Norah Lovell

Artist Statement Submitted 2014

I was born in the north to parents of lapsed, southern catholic origin. As a child my father, read aloud stories by Capote, and Welty, opening a mysterious wellspring in my mind. This sense of gothic amble imparted, along with a latent southern gene, were my only tools for deciphering the South upon my arrival to New Orleans six years ago. Here, things contradictory in nature are bound in baffling, familial mixtures. My initial explorations were top layer: architectural facades, filigreed interiors, chintz, ephemera, brocaded upholstery, and upholstery-like foliage. These seductive surfaces are matched by compelling depth in the South, where (as Faulkner characterized) the past is never dead. In current work I’m increasingly drawn towards a Southern vernacular, with its imbedded themes of conquest, captivity, and hauntings. This vernacular, a seat of deep mystery, compels my investigation into Southern narratives but also towards tangentially and fragilely linked personal narratives.

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