Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Kristina Arnold at Twist Art Gallery September 2010

Kristina Arnold at Twist Art Gallery
September 2010

Kristina Arnold has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the United States, has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and has held artist residencies in both the US and abroad. Currently on the art faculty at Western Kentucky University, she received her M.F.A. in 2003 from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and her BA in Public Health from Brown University. Before returning to art school at UT, Arnold worked for five years at Brown and Vanderbilt Universities conducting epidemiological research. She is interested in the relationships between illness, biomedicine and health, and the ways in which we manufacture, manipulate and control both our bodies and our environments.

Artist Statement

My story is familiar, my worries are shared. I look across the landscape of our south-eastern-mid-western border region and I see the shift that has been occurring. My husband is the first in five generations to leave the family farm. The farm remains but can no longer sustain a family, their income swallowed by the giant agribusiness industry. Next door, the high-dollar developments encroach upon his family’s land, so you, too, can buy a million dollar weekend cabin in the country.

I worry about the insustainability of the strange middle lands known as suburban America where we now live, where the strip mall and the lawn – that American invention and obsession – are king. We continue to corral, manipulate, pave over and remove our landscape. We fence it in or out.

We have an obsession with the perfect and the plastic. Our food, our environment and our bodies are chemically and genetically modified. The re-useable has been replaced by the throw-away. The handmade has been replaced by the mass-produced, and now that mass production is moving to China. We worry not as we don our pharmaceutical smiles.

How long might it be before the natural, the individual, the hand-made, the small, the imperfect, become a memory, a museum artifact? The new nature is attractive – but slick, difficult to digest and ultimately unsatisfying.

But I still hold out hope. I have always been a Pollyanna. There can be beauty in the ugly, and the sublime in the inconsequential.