Equilibrium Disorder

Posted in: Exhibitions

Crystal Brown

O’Bleness Gallery – located at The Dairy Barn Arts Center

Free & Open to the Public

December 15 – March 21, 2024

A reception will be held on January 19, from 6-8 pm alongside OH+5.

About the show:

As an interdisciplinary artist/mother/academic, my current body of work, Equilibrium
Disorder, illustrates the unseen domestic labor of caregiving through the use of objects that
evoke play, chaos and seemingly random attempts at organization. The blending of my studio
practice with the other aspects of my life also touches on its inherent challenges. For example,
my love/hate relationship with my kitchen might manifest in my drawings and paintings that
celebrate work and the labor of love with a hint of the fury and frustration conveyed through the
economy of line. Viewers can also see this in the blind contour drawings of the piece titled, In-
Direct Labor. My practice strives to reveal the underappreciated aspects of mothering and
everyday life using textiles, sculpture, drawing and found domestic objects all in collaboration
with my family.
The objects and their installation are inherently chaotic culminations seen in piles of kids’
clothes and toys mounted by paper mache objects constructed from my kids’ homeschool
homework, to-do lists, schedules, and craft projects. In the past, my work has been criticized
because ‘the work that I was making wasn’t meant for my viewers because it was not about
them’ or that ‘there was no place for the viewer to enter my world of invisible labor and care
work,’ besides ‘why even call yourself a mother/artist?’ These criticisms exemplify the culturally
inherited subversion of the importance of domestic labor and the disproportionate role of
caregiving mothers have in relationship to their male partners and how this impacts their internal,
invisible lives. In many ways, I have taken that criticism to heart and have been on a journey to
address that question through my studio practice.

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