STATEMENT I began my Still–ed Life Series of miniature oil paintings to memorialize Black men and women who have been murdered in the United States in recent years. The paintings combine vibrant, domestic objects with lives suddenly extinguished. I incorporate the name of the person who has died both into the artwork and onto the surrounding wall. In this way I connect the painting to its environment, extend its boundaries, and allude to the unique aura we each possess. In aggregate, the Still-ed Life paintings form a kind of journal of life and death.
In my series of paper dress collages, I use wallpaper, book pages in French and English from the 1900s, rice, and origami papers, comics, and antique sheet music to create works of art that embody female spirits. Each dress has a unique energy derived from its texts and subtle colorations. They are my most popular pieces.
BIOGRAPHY JoAnne McFarland is an artist, poet, curator, and Artistic Director of Artpoetica Project Space in Brooklyn, NY. Artpoetica exhibits work that explores the intersection of words, visual art, performance, and installation. McFarland is the former Exhibitions Director of A.I.R. Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn, founded in 1972 as the first gallery specifically for women artists. McFarland’s artwork is part of the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the Columbus Museum of Art, and Dynegy Inc. among many others. She is the author of ten poetry collections and chapbooks, including the recent digital album Tracks of My Tears; a collaboration with poet Paul Eprile, Said I Meant/Meant I Said; Identifying the Body, and 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Girl. McFarland’s recent collaborations with artist Sasha Chavchavadze include: The SALLY Project, a multi–year interdisciplinary series of exhibitions and events, and The Sediment Project. McFarland’s multi–faceted practice is grounded in her belief that violence and creativity are opposites: each act of making thwarts violence’s aim to destroy.