Ideal Home — Exhibition

Ideal Home | Elizabeth Alexander and Kasey Lou Lindley

Objects of Desire | Elizabeth Alexander

Future Gardens | Kasey Lou Lindley

Curated By Kelley Carper

 

August 12th –  October 16th, 2022

 

Ideal Home features distinct bodies of work by two female artists hailing from different sides of the country: Elizabeth Alexander from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Kasey Lou Lindley from Salt Lake City, Utah. Together the artists’ work represents unique processes in paper, collage and installation art, with connecting concepts that reflect on the idealism of home in past and president-day America.

With Objects of Desire, Elizabeth Alexander considers what it might look like if the spaces we inhabit embodied our emotions and the more complicated elements of ourselves. Using cut paper and common household materials, she unpacks the social, cultural, and psychological implications of American ideals around domesticity, success, and safety. Contrary to the idyllic image of the unblemished American home, she asks if a space that holds financial stress, trauma, chronic pain, or mental illness can still carry love, magic, and joy.

Alexander appropriates once coveted symbols of success and beautification such as wallpaper and porcelain ware in ways that insert chaotic beauty into spaces of domestic harmony. Her work represents home as a space that, she says, “serves both as a projection of our ideal self and one that houses our darkest and brightest moments.”

“Regarding home as a place that is shaped by our stories and bears witness to our secret lives, I use my own experience to explore ways we, in turn, are shaped by our home and the activity within them. It is the place where hidden pressures, values, and power structures are taught, enacted, and reinforced. I work to envision the humanity embedded within our surroundings and uncover the porousness of our walls and the interconnectivity we often forget is there.”

The ideal American home also considers its external environment, which Kasey Lou Lindley addresses with her body of work, Future Gardens. Current drought conditions in Utah and the West are challenging our societal obsession with manicured lawns and residential green space, a comfort historically reserved for the upper class as an indication of wealth and success. Lawns are now the norm for most American neighborhoods, but undoubtedly continue to be markers of societal status – especially when it comes to their required care and routine maintenance. The communal and comfortable appeal of green grass is undeniable, but our relationship with lush lawns seems to be shifting as trends around naturalized, native landscaping rise alongside water conservation efforts.

Lindley’s watercolor paintings, digital collages, and video installation together represent an ideal future for American gardens and landscapes, particularly in our local community. Her fluid and playful watercolors take inspiration from drought-tolerant foliage, highlighting plants that can survive and thrive in low-water landscapes. Inspired by Intersectional Environmentalism, Lindley’s digital collages blend Utah’s unique geological landscape with arid climate plants from all over the world as a metaphor for the beauty and importance of diversity. Lindley’s video installation is a mantra meditation created for future generations, with animated vignettes of spring blossoms and drought-tolerant foliage accompanied by sounds of children laughing and playing.

“Future Gardens examines place-based environmental issues with an optimistic lens, offering solutions for a more just and hopeful future. It begs the question: what can humans do to be more responsible stewards of our local landscapes and earthly home?” – Kasey Lou Lindley

Thank you to the following donors for supporting OCA’s general operations and programming, making this exhibit possible: Weber County RAMP, Utah Office of Tourism, George S. and Dolores Dore Foundation, Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation, Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and Ogden City Arts.