by Damia Smith
Damia Smith recently graduated with an MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from the University of Kansas and currently resides in Lawrence, KS. Her work has been shown in several juried exhibitions all over the country, and she has won numerous awards including: First Place in the Headdress Category in The Wearable Art Awards in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and the Juror’s Award in How Much Can We Control? at Wichita State University in Wichita, KS. Her work has also recently been included in 500 Rings and 500 Paper Objects published by Lark Books.
About her work, Smith says that she creates "pieces that physically and mentally engage the individuals who are wearing them. Each object attaches to a specific part of the body and limits the mobility of that area. The performer who is wearing the device reacts to this incapacitating factor by struggling constantly to overcome it in the videos. This physical burden weighs on her body and mind, which makes her feel trapped within the object. These devices are not easily identifiable and retain qualities of clothing, corrective braces, traps, and living organisms. I have based these pieces on my own feelings of bodily and psychological inability, which are then translated into physical manifestations. The ability for the audience to imagine themselves in another person’s situations allows those who see the work to come to a greater understanding and acceptance of other’s differences whether these are physical, cultural, or internal. This reinforces the importance of art as a social agent, which helps the public to expand its worldview, by allowing the viewers to see themselves inside of the artwork."
Opening Reception on August 2nd from 6:00pm-10:00pm