Meta-Retrospect :: Lorna Williams

On View :: Sat. Aug. 13th, 2022 - Sun. Sep. 4th, 2022

Exhibitions Dates: August 13th – September 4th 2022
Opening Reception: Saturday August 13th 2022, 6pm-10pm

“As the lukewarm hands of the gods
Came down and gently picked my adrenalin pearls
Placed them in their mouths and rinsed all the fear out
Nourished them with their saliva

All rested 
As if the healthiest pastime
Is being in life-threatening circumstances
And once again be reborn
All birthed and happy 

Best way to start-a-new is to fail miserably
Fail at loving and fail at giving
Fail at creating a flow 
Then realign the whole and kick into the starthole.

To risk all is the end all and the beginning all”

“Moon”,  Bjork


Lorna Williams was born in 1986 in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2010, received a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. Studied at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2009, attended the Norfolk Program at Yale University. Exhibited at the New Orleans Museum of Art; Studio Museum Harlem; Montserrat College of Art; and University of Massachusetts. Reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, Art in America, The New York Times, Hyperallergic, New American Paintings, FLATT and The Boston Globe. Recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including Art Matters Foundation Grant, Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant and Ellen Battell Stockel Fellowship. Nominated for and accepted into residencies with Joan Mitchell Foundation and Rauschenberg Foundation. Artworks included in the collections of Beth Rudin DeWoody, A.C. Hudgins, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Arthur Lewis, NOMA and 21C Museum. Williams lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Artist Statement

the roots of my body: the power of art-as-ritual 

As the primary site of expression, the body is the tool and subject of my work. I closely analyze and deconstruct human anatomy to speak to the reality that human-made materials mimic nature. These processes organically unfold through external support systems, timing, cause and effect. My works are intricately constructed with detritus from my life, including various hardware, bike parts, music instruments, ropes and chains. I also use natural materials such as raw wood, root systems, bird’s nest, insect hives, animal corpses, hair and snake shedding- of which has been collected over the course of travels, living, and circumstance. These materials unify the concept of what is created artificially and what manifests organically through natural processes. 

My anthropomorphic sculptures are meticulous amalgams of unlikely and often provocative material juxtapositions. I am fascinated by the functions that all materials, whether human-made or natural, are subject to performing and am always searching for the possible relationships among them—always seeking to assemble, arrange and connect them in ways that speak to concepts that I am visually processing. I question everything and take time to research materials- considering their historical/timely functions and associations. It is in the way I arrange and assemble the materials that gives space for the concepts to take form and present themselves. I enjoy discovering the many different ways a material can be manipulated, taken apart and put back together. I am always looking for the double/triple meanings/functions of the words that are used to define, describe and label the various materials. I draw upon this language for guidance in my decision-making assemblage processes.                                                                                

My works represent rituals of rebirthing and initiation, of reevaluating, dismantling and rebuilding “self” through natural and man-made materials. Its focus is considering every perspective and then shedding—letting go in order to reinvent, redefine, rediscover and reintroduce. Distilling collected material into anthropomorphic forms, my sculptures address the cross-section of personal narrative, cultural heritage and a shared human condition. The material and figurative interconnectedness of my works creates an on-going mythology that speaks of life and death, birth and decay. My hope is that viewers will experience their own initiation ritual for the release and (re-)introduction of our shared anatomical foundations.