This intimate look down the barrel – contemplates gun rights, the loss of life, and the search for healing through artwork and poetry by Mary Coss, Holly Ballard Martz and Daemond Arrindell. Watch the short video ArtZone did on it here.
Through haunting imagery, dark humor, and the power of words we address our own anger, process our emotions and deliver ideas in a different context to plead with you to consider the role guns play in our society. KISS FEAR is a saying marked for eternity onto Daemond’s arm in remembrance of a dear friend. As he says, “Her life motto was Kissing Fear. She felt that if she not only faced her fears but embraced them, they would make her a wiser, stronger, more loving person.“ It is a metaphor for the interwoven themes of this show and the title and reasoning that best represents this group.
My mother gave me an overflowing bag of little white gloves. It was from the moment of this gift that this show emerged. My mind wandered from “hands up”, a call to not shoot, to another era. These gloves represented ritual, privilege, and Sunday best across races years ago. As I considered the iconic symbol of gloves covering hands, and the many allusions they bring, complexities emerged. People wore gloves to church, “doing good” and hid behind them doing their nasty work. Taking Off the Gloves suggests there is going to be a serious conversation and not everyone is going to agree. The image of a man with his hands up being shot reverberated through my mind. The image flooded the news. Then Orlando happened. My response was to explore gun culture. My interest is in healing and considering what is sacred.
This show grew organically. Bill Gaylord (owner of BONFIRE) and I embraced the work and perspectives of poet Daemond Arrindell and visual artist Holly Ballard Martz. KISS FEAR is the result of three artists who take off the gloves and put their art form to work. It is a narrative of three different perspectives speaking truth to power.
On average, 30 deaths pass to gun violence each day in the US. This figure is applied to the 30 cast gloves, hands up, on their AR-15 window altar. In 2015 about 13,000 people were killed in the United States by a gun homicide, unintentional shooting, or murder/suicide occurrence. 12,286 lives lost by October 31st of this year. * These statistics don’t include suicide.
The artwork in the east window, Mapping Time, is a tally of deaths from gun violence. Updated weekly on Sundays, this ongoing count makes real the numbers, documenting each life lost with a candle lit, starting on November 1st and running through the exhibition run. Much of this work is interactive. Pull the trigger on Holly’s self inflicted, spin her american roulette wheel, and sit and listen to Daemond’s powerful words, Miranda’s silent sister speaks to individual rights and the fragility of life.