Materials: Cotton, Muslin, Quilting, and Appliqué
Size: 34” x 52”
In my art practice, I examine institutional inheritances and the ways that institutions reckon with their pasts by embracing and absorbing, silencing and eradicating, protest. In this fiber work, I rely on inherited and self-taught practices of quilt-making and appliqué to reinterpret historic, publicly available images of resistance. Bringing together private and public archives in this way allows me to explore how social unrest surpasses individual people and traverses the boundaries of the intimate and the impersonal, the past and the present.
My aim is to raise questions around social and cultural institutions—from universities and museums to the police and varied political sectors—and how they continue to rearticulate commitments to equity, diversity, and antiracism, as well as the ways these commitments echo those of the past. When people pass by my work, I want them to walk away grappling with how resounding declarations and demonstrations of embrace that we see each day might themselves reiterate and reinforce legacies of systemic racism and anti-blackness, and practices of exclusion and erasure, that undergird the United States.
A.P.'s work was selected for the “PEOPLE” group exhibition at FRIEDA (June 2022 – August 2022). She also participated in the artist talk "The unseen" on June 4.
A. P. Ferrell holds a B.A. degree from Hamilton College, an M.Ed. from the University of Washington (Seattle),and an M.A. in gender studies from Central European University (Budapest). She expects to complete her PhD in rhetoric and public culture at Northwestern University in 2023. Ashley’s research explores rhetorics of reconciliation, race, and the retelling of institutional histories. Their current project focuses on the U.S. university as a site of racial redress, asking how universities reconcile legacies of slavery alongside contemporary racial injustices. In addition to their research, Ashley currently serves as a graduate student T.A. for Northwestern’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program. Outside of academia, Ashley has worked with nonprofit organizations in development and consulting capacities.
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