Peter Oakley skillfully re-creates impermanent items—bars of soap, Styrofoam containers, egg cartons—out of marble, transforming the otherwise ordinary into beautiful and permanent objects, all with a wink toward the irony in doing so. Elizabeth Brim, a prominent blacksmith, uses her metalworking—traditionally considered a “man’s medium”—to make a sly commentary on the unnecessary gendering of materials. Her forged steel pieces represent soft and stereotypically feminine objects: frilly pillows, high-heeled shoes, tutus, and aprons. Together, these artists jovially chisel away at the assumptions plaguing their chosen materials, forging new thoughts about the objects that surround us and those who create them.
Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. Support provided by the George Smedes Poyner Family Foundation. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.