Last week, our valued intern Meredith Hudson-Redfield, was spotted in an Oakland gallery…
Each piece in the gallery was a portrait of a member of Meredith’s family, some known to her and some curiously unknown, discovered as a silent photograph in her grandmother’s house. In her artist’s statement, Meredith explained that seeing photos of so many family members that she had never met, or met only in passing, made her realize that this absence of personal and family history was a palpable lack, one which affected the context of her life and her work.
Each portrait was blind-debossed on white Rives BFK (many of them right here at SFCB). From afar, the images are nearly invisible, but up close they are arresting. Most of the facial features are removed from the images, which lends an unsettling emphasis to their eyes.
The quiet power of these prints encouraged silence and contemplation in viewers; perhaps partly because the figures lack mouths, gallery-goers spoke in hushed tones.
The printed works were accompanied by a small volume of poems, Coptic-bound and printed on vellum; each portrait has an accompanying poem, but the correlation between each poem and a specific portrait was not made explicit. Though the history was there, documented, it was left somewhat ambiguous, replicating, perhaps, the feeling of loss associated with an incomplete knowledge of one’s family.
Congratulations, Meredith; we can’t wait to see more of your work in galleries around the Bay and beyond!