I live in Appalachia, specifically West Virginia. It’s beautiful, it’s peaceful, and sometimes it’s neglected. As I move through my daily routines, I see evidence of the idiosyncrasies that define this rich, yet not so rich, area. I see the wear and tear of lost industries, of lost labor, and in some instances, lost hope. It’s in the natural and man-made landscapes in both subtle and apparent ways.
As I pass through these tired places in this tired region, something feels heavy. It’s like existing in a quiet, asphyxiating beauty. A solemn calmness that steadily seeps into my being. But it feels light, like it’s dissipating in front of me. I feel a peaceful sense of resonation knowing I’m in the midst of something familiar. But then it’s also somber, and yet it’s stately. My work negotiates these in between states. States between familiar and foreign. States between belonging and adjusting. States between private and public.
Passing Through synthesizes my experience of living in a region seeping with contradiction. I use uncanny material and formal analogies to construct composite spaces that negotiate the essence of living in Appalachia. Seemingly dissolving structures are used to encapsulate. Iconic markers of residential abandonment are rendered as decorative veneers. The peaceful gradients found within mountainous landscapes scale the walls akin to invasive vines on degrading architecture. Through these juxtapositions I wish to study how one is impacted by the physical environments they navigate through.
Kylie Ford is an artist based in Fairmont, West Virginia. She holds undergraduate degrees in Studio Art with a 3D concentration and Art Education from Fairmont State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Maine College of Art. Ford’s work has been exhibited in venues such as Boston University Art Galleries, Manifest Gallery, Huntington Museum of Art, Marshall University, Blackhills State University, Flatbed Press and Galleries, among others. She has received awards and recognitions from Chautauqua Institution, The Albert K. Murray Fine Art Educational Fund, and has most recently been the recipient of the Real Art Award through Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT. Ford is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Fairmont State University.
Quiet Weight, Kylie Ford
Title TBD, Kylie Ford