Stay Asleep (a solo exhibition) by Christina West

Christina West is a sculptor living in Atlanta, GA where she is an Associate Professor of Ceramics at Georgia State University. She earned her MFA from Alfred University in 2006 and since has extensively exhibited her work across the country in venues such as the The Bellevue Arts Museum (Bellevue, WA), The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (Buffalo, NY), the Zuckerman Museum of Art (Kennesaw, GA) and the Mindy Solomon Gallery (Miami). Additionally, Christina’s work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts, the George Sugarman Foundation, and the Southeastern College Art Conference.

As a title, Stay Asleep poetically evokes a harshness of reality by suggesting a reticence to face it—to not wake up. In addition to the figures that lie or lean in passive poses, or struggle over a seemingly simple task in the case of the standing male figure, the exhibition also includes objects that relate to the idea of staying asleep in various, general ways; the numerous pairs of used work boots suggest a repetition of daily commitments that may be hard to face, while the marijuana plants can offer one way of taking the edge off of reality. The objects in the show were chosen additionally as representations of objects that have personal associations with my family upbringing and negatively color many of my childhood memories. Those objects relate to the idea that certain aspects of our histories can lie dormant, or sleep, in our minds, and often are not evident to others. Importantly, those objects have been colored green-screen green, a color that in its typical context is about what will ultimately be edited out—what usually isn’t seen in the final presentation. Similarly, the green objects in Stay Asleep, have connections to parts of my upbringing that are not a part of my publicly shared identity, yet inevitably have formed who I am.