Artist Harriet Diamond will install her moving work “Driven From Their Homes,” an installation sculpture that chronicles the horrors of the Syrian War and diaspora. As Diamond notes, the work “depicts an episodic journey of refugee people fleeing from the terrible destruction of their home city” to an unknown future. Each figure struggles to cope, to grieve, and to endure. In the artist’s words, “It is a dark scene, but it’s also roiling with life.” The scope of this piece allows viewers to be surrounded by the scenes as they unfold. Fear, desolation, and courage are etched in the faces of these victims of war. It is the artist’s fervent hope that by telling this story the “terrible truth of war” will become “more present and real to us.”
Diamond received her undergraduate degree in European History from Smith College and an MFA in sculpture from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Her work has appeared in many solo exhibitions and installations, both nationally and internationally. This year Diamond has been awarded an artist residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris to continue her work on the refugee crisis, and in 2013 she was awarded a Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellow Grant in Installation.
For artist Salley Mavor, a needle is her tool, thread her medium, and stitches her marks. Her needlework is sculptural and narrative. They are presented as “tableaus in bas-relief,” miniature stage sets “with scenery, props and characters assembled on fabric backdrops in shadow box frames.” Mavor’s works explore the irony, tragedy, and beauty of humanity as it “unravels and mends throughout history.” She is, as she claims, an evolving artist, striving to “communicate messages that transcend the fiber medium.”
Mavor learned to sew as a child and was encouraged to pursue her creative endeavors. As an illustration major at Rhode Island School of Design, Mavor preferred to express her ideas with sculptural needlework, to tell stories with embroidery and found objects. She has been practicing her art and developing her techniques for more than 40 years. Mavor has illustrated 10 children’s books with needlework, including the award winning Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes and she has written Felt Wee Folk, a how-to book. She and her husband, Rob Goldsborough, created a politically satirical stop-motion animation short “Liberty and Justice: A Cautionary Tale in the Land of the Free.”
Other IMAGO artists who will participate in the exhibit include Eileen Siobhan Collins, Mary Dondero, Carl Keitner, Pascale Lord, Yolanda Mazzoni, Rina Naik, Kol Naylor, Mercedes Nuñez, Maria Rodriguez, Anne Marie Rossi, Lenny Rumpler, Howard Rotblat-Walker, and Amy Sutherland.