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Feathers Fall, Grass Grows
by Andréa Connell

Figurines come into one’s possession to celebrate a birth, a death, an anniversary, or any other numerous or commemorative moment. They become a stand-in for a story, stories often held privately by the collector. Through my work I explore the complex narratives that lay dormant, forgotten, and suppressed in representations of our most treasured, and often private objects.

My interest in commemorative objects, particularly the hidden narrative of figurines, has evolved through multiple bodies of work. I’ve approached figurines in different contexts –as monuments and as statuary, as representations of experience and as objects of scale. From this perspective I see figurines engaging in both private and in public narratives; they fit easily in the family china cabinet but they can depict an image a whole community might receive. At their most authoritative they would make their way to a community plinth, elevated and honored as a monument. I am interested in how figurines influence communities and homes, on what they conceal and what they reveal.

When I was a child, I would sneak into my mother’s china cabinet and collect her porcelain figurines, all displayed and beautifully arranged –painted birds perched on branches, children innocently gazing off in wonderment, men and women spinning each other in love and delight. I would remove the figurines from their cabinet and play with them like dolls. It never lasted long. When my mother found me I was always admonished with a familiar refrain. She would tell me the figurines were not for play: they were breakable, they were precious, they were valuable. Carefully, she would place them back in the cabinet and shut the door.


Exhibition Run: October 28 – December 13, 2019

Image: Andréa Connell, The Archer, clay, 32″ x 28″ x 19″