Publication in: Spring 2023 Issue

Relative Space: An Exploration of Home Through Landscapes and Materials
Hannah Durham
Art/Art History
Faculty Mentor(s):
Brent Skidmore and Jackson Martin
Abstract / Summary:
The term place is broadly defined as a particular point or location in space. Western North Carolina is an area with a well-known description; the mountainous region of the state and a sub region of Appalachia. The landscape, ecosystems, and surrounding culture of this specific region has governed the lives of the living entities within its environment due to the rural qualities of the rugged terrain. These characteristics are significant factors in the development of Appalachian women’s narratives throughout history. Traditionally these women focused their labor and energy towards the home, making it difficult to find a place within the professional sphere of creatives. This research is an exploration of historical gender roles within traditional Appalachian craft and is highlighted through functional objects, local topographical studies, and interviews. With the use of wood, reclaimed materials, and family quilts the artist joins the concepts of traditional craft and fine art to focus on the narrative of the Appalachian woman. The emphasis on functionality calls attention to the relationships cultivated through the physical interactions that occur between these spaces. An awareness is brought to the ways in which humans engage with their environments, who they share these places with, and how a particular place can connect to a sense of individuality.
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