Claire Lewis Evans " Salt"

Statement

It's easy to feel unaffected; it's easy to coast by, to ignore the humanity of the stock characters and stereotypes we see depicted in the media – when we see them at all. Too often, they are just extras: signifiers and plot points. Invisible people, not connected to my life. Not really real. But the statistics and the stories reveal the true reality, one happening around us all the time. For the lucky, human trafficking is difficult to imagine, but our naiveté and ignorance doesn’t change the fact that Atlanta is a hub for sex trafficking. One Saturday around 1982 when I was about 14, I caught a bus downtown in search of a downtown scene. There was nothing of interest that I could see except one voodoo shop and various other empty and low-rent storefronts, mostly closed for the weekend. There wasn’t much going on at the MARTA station; the streets weren’t crowded as I hunted for counterculture; the locals ignored the curious white girl who didn’t even know she was looking for L5P. I am fortunate no one abusive approached me that day or later, when I did discover Atlanta’s creative demimonde. Two years ago, I invited the Atlanta Harm Prevention Coalition to participate in tribute show at the Mammal Gallery that served as something of a reunion for Atlanta’s underground music scene from the late 80s and 90s. I listened into conversations about Broad Street when it was a drug market; everyone who remembered the bad old days was struck by the changes wrought by that the downtown arts community in recent years. One person whose stories are not mine to tell was grateful to be healthy and alive. Not everyone is so blessed. What difference can I really make as an artist, I sometimes wonder; this year, especially. Is my ability to assert a worldview based in creativity and collaboration contingent on privilege, self-interest, and luck? It may be. But we do what we can, and are grateful to receive occasional affirmations when something strikes home. We don’t know who might feast on the visions we offer, or what new awareness visitors may take away. But we do it, and in doing so we remake the world. For 46:21, I therefore offer the elemental power, passion, and presence of the sacred feminine. I beckon it into a world ready for redress and awakening to the intrinsic value of each human life.

WCA Georgia Chapter

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Claire Lewis Evans
"Salt"
cast iron
16.5" x 17" x 12"

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