Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo
“I make work about the lives of women in their entirety and about the stories surrounding them”
Bio: I did my undergraduate work at Davidson college majoring in English Literature and Visual Art. Afterward I worked as a scenic designer and artist on a feature film in New Orleans, and the West Indies before coming to Chapel Hill to begin a Masters of Fine Arts program.
Woman-Friend, n.(My own definition).
1.Coming from the term woman, referring to a human woman who may or may not fit the socially limited perspective of feminine as being a pelvis that contains a vaginal canal, cervix, uterus, and ovaries.
2.A life giving, deeply intimate (whether sexually or non-sexually) relationship between women. A companion of struggle. Of a woman’s sphere. An expression of appreciation and love of woman culture and woman experience as in Alice Walker’s appreciation of Womanist and
3.Separate from the term “girlfriends.” A rejection/surpassing of girlhood/childhood implications of that relationship. Implies a whole person and a whole adult. Not about games or play. Rejection of the diminished perspective that we hold socially regarding the relationships between women.
4.Rejection of the notion that women are viewed through their attachments and relations to men – that women must be preoccupied with men. This absence of men does not imply a sexual relationship between woman friends, though the relationship can be sexual. A close woman friend is a bond, not to be confused with love of an individual man, or of many men, which is good, but separate.
I explore the unsaid within the way women learn to exist in the world, the appearance and importance of female organs, and the presence of mixed-race people within American history. Through these themes I discuss the realities of the roles women occupy as girls, daughters, lovers, mothers, and grandmothers, the rights of passage and unique violence of the female body during menstruation, sex, and childbirth, what it means to possess our preconceived notions of “female” organs, and what it means to lack them. Finally, my work discusses the realities of being mixed-race, and what it means to experience life by the code of an intangible system such as race, versus a physical system, such as menstruation, and how one responds to societal discomfort with the ambiguous.
I aim to create a space where these softly spoken truths, which so often go unsaid, can exist within individual pieces, but the pieces can hang together in a way that speaks them and, by doing so, opens up the viewer to an experience of empathy for one women’s truth and to a moment of reflection on their own – hopefully allowing them, not necessarily to share, but to recognize the unsaid within themselves.
Title / Título: Halfies, Pt. 1. 2. 3. 4.
Technique / Técnica: Mixed-Media Sculpture
Size / Tamaño: 14” x 12”
Title / Título: Bees Singing the Coming of Spring
Technique / Técnica: Graphite, Watercolor, Ink on paper.
Size / Tamaño: 96” x 46”
Title / Título: My Mother Is a Fish
Technique / Técnica: Graphite, Pastel, and Tea on Paper.
Size / Tamaño: 72” x 46”
Title / Título: Cover Her
Technique / Técnica: Coffee and Graphite on Paper
Size / Tamaño: 68″ x 40″
Title / Título:
(Love Is When You Want to Climb Into Their Skin)
Technique / Técnica:
Watercolor, Graphite and Thread on Paper
Size / Tamaño: 78″ x 46″
Title / Título: (Pa’ Dentro)
Technique / Técnica: Acrylic, Ink, and Gouache on Mylar.
Size / Tamaño: 44″ x 33″
Title / Título: “Small Girl, Ella”
Technique / Técnica: Drawing Graphite on paper.
Size / Tamaño: 72″ x 46″
*Not for sale
GALLERY IS OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC M-F 9 AM – 5 PM
WEEKEND VIEWINGS ARE AVAILABLE WITH ADVANCE NOTICE.
CONTACT RAFAEL A. OSUBA @ 919-995-9763
Fredric Jameson Gallery at Duke University’s East Campus
(Friedl Building) 1316 Campus Dr. Durham, NC 27705