Fading Brides / Lachrymose
Christi Harris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Art and Art History at Christopher Newport University (Newport News, VA) where she teaches foundation and advanced studio courses in painting and drawing. Harris earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Missouri State University and her MFA in Painting and Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is focused on personal and societal issues, with an underlying reliance on technical skill while using formal arrangements of color, pattern, and shape. Her most recent work explores memory and the role of women within the prescribed structures of culture and family.
Part I is a series of large-scale drawings/paintings. The imagery is of singular bridal portraits superimposed upon a background that is visible through the bride. The resulting imagery is spectral and ghostly. The women are fading away in their roles, in their marriages, and their importance or presence seems to have been forgotten. The brides are unknown and the image gives the impression of prescience of their simultaneous future and past.
Part II is an installation that explores the intersection of grieving and “emotional labor” made tangible by embroidering phrases from condolence letters from the early 1900’s onto handkerchiefs in the style of the handwriting. Hundreds of these receptacles for grief and tears are hanging above and around the viewer, inviting you to immerse yourself in the loss of loved ones. The expression of grief is palpable to anyone whose loved one has died.