CONGRATULATIONS IACA CYCLE #29
MINI-GRANT RECIPIENT, LEE NOWELL-WILSON!
The following are excerpts from Nowell-Wilson's grant proposal:
Currently, I am pivoting within my work. As a trained painter-graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011-I took the past 5 years to exclusively work with charcoal and graphite, in order to study material. I focused on the paradoxical emotions that can be portrayed through the simultaneously scratchy and velvety quality of charcoal. Through abstract expressionism overlapping with figurative realism, I worked to capture the mundane, humorous, overloaded, holy and tender aspects of the maternal mind. Now I am compelled to shift back into painting and capture a slower caricature of time that paint provides. Within this new work, I want to explore the relationship between the mundane and the sacred, specifically within seemingly banal domestic scenes.
I am driven by moments that can feel incredibly boring within daily domestic life, yet be crucially edifying. As one is regulated to the floor to "play house" or "pretend picnic", pour fake tea, stare at patterned rugs, all while watching light shift and losing good posture due to buckling over to help dress and undress, I wonder how that humdrum of family rhythm can transfer into nostalgic, relatable, intimate points of view. Within highlighting something so plain, I want to open a window into the process of sanctity and how commonplace elements contribute to our spiritual sustenance. In my new paintings, exaggerated composition, sweeping pattern and visual depth will be the tools for expressing revelation—the wisdom gathered by the monotony of mothering.
I was accepted into a residency with Ovada gallery in Oxford, UK this summer. During my time at Ovada, I will create a series of drawings, monoprints and paper-based installation experiments, all in preparation for a solo exhibition in Washington, D.C in the Spring of 2023. This exhibition will showcase my new work that investigates the sacred and the mundane. An IACA mini grant would contribute towards the cost of attending this residency.
My piece "House Under the Table", included in my work samples, was the first painting I completed after working with charcoal for 5 years. It acts as a key kick-starter for my new work, and initiating my exploration of how commonplace elements contribute to our spiritual sustenance.