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Shawne Major: Schema

Shawne Major

Shawne Major

I am interested in how the perception of reality is colored by dreams, memory, superstition, religion, bias, prejudice, and fear. My mixed-media works, in general, refer to the overlay of belief systems created by the individual to piece together their personal paradigm.

My vocabulary—a combination of kitsch, ersatz and craft materials, junk and personal objects—is re-aestheticized into accumulated forms that serve as metaphors for the build-up, organization and assimilation of information. The personal objects are evidences of pain, happiness, loss, guilt, shame—all the material detritus of the everyday human experience.

The vernacular (as a language of objects indigenous to my class and culture) is used here to subvert the hierarchy of high art. The kitsch of popular culture is transformed—through collage and intense manual labor—into the elite fine-art object. By evoking the elitism inherent to the idea of the hand-crafted object, these mass-produced articles become the raw materials that are employed in the "hand-crafting" of the art piece.

I choose particular materials for their visceral qualities, as well as their symbology and real-world references. The power of the fetish object intrigues me. The methods by which disparate elements are connected are as integral as the objects themselves. All materials, as words in a paragraph, are treated in a more-or-less equal manner and bring their own bits of signification and narrative to the visual "story."

—Shawne Major