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Soft Storage, solo show of work by MFA 2007 Maria Britton, at My Room, Attic 506 in Chapel Hill through August
Soft Storage

Working free from square painting supports and utilizing bed sheets as her primary surface, Britton makes work that spans painting, sculpture, and textiles. With the works included in Soft Storage, Britton ruminates on the strength and vitality found in emotionally complex and ephemeral qualities typically associated with the feminine. Britton’s works are influenced by clothing construction, bodily orifices, curtains, windows, sails, and portals. Understanding the functional language of fabric allows Britton to utilize its strength and flexibility. Fabric’s grid becomes a guiding compass of sorts.

My work explores notions of femininity and feminism, high and low forms of art making, and dreams and disasters. Using combinations of painting and sewing, I modify and disrupt the familiar floral surfaces of used patterned bed sheets, which I have been incorporating into my work for over decade. The surface of a bed is a place where one both experiences and escapes reality, a gateway between two realms. Dated patterns act as windows for peering into specific times and places from the past. Like skin, fabric retains a physical memory of experiences; it wrinkles from habitual behaviors and environmental conditions. Over time memories change by expanding, fading, transforming, or disappearing.

I work impulsively and intuitively, responding to the patterns and colors before me while also referencing fragmented floral imagery that I either remember or imagine. To define gestural forms, I use bias tape or paint to delineate the break between positive and negative space. Flowers and cyclical elements from nature, especially decay, inform how I work. The fragile quality of wilted and dried flowers is something that I often attempt to replicate.

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