Whereabouts Unknown opens February 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Seton Gallery and focuses on the impact of imprisonment on families, exploring the plethora of debilitating consequences.
Artist-in-residence, Felandus Thames, Yale Painting and Printmaking Alum ’10, was invited by Gallery Director, Laura Marsh, Yale Sculpture Alum ’09, to transform Seton Gallery into a pale green prison cell to evoke feelings of sedation and calmness from visitors as they view telling pieces that portray the injustice in our prison systems.
Thames draws inspiration from writers like Etheridge Knight as he shines light on the Prison Industrial Complex and its tendency to defend power distributions and perpetuate stereotypes. Through his very thought-provoking, personal pieces, Thames portrays the role of prison systems in the fabric of inner city communities.
Thames’ utilizes the Black voice by mining distinctive cultural traits through various objects.
“I use objects as surrogates for people,” Thames explained as he discusses the use of household objects in his pieces. Each piece in the collection offers a domestic outlook on a national problem. Through objects ranging from hair brushes to hair barettes to hair relaxer, Thames focuses on hair, a decision he made while walking through Harlem counting how many stores were selling hair products specifically geared towards Blacks. In the past, hair has been used as a power statement, with the rising popularity of afros and locks, but it has become something most Blacks alter and hide. (READ MORE)
Felandus Thames at Jack Tilton Gallery, March 2011