Doreen Garner, Tumor Series Phallusy, Glass, Copper, Hair, 6 x8 inches, 2013
Artist Statement for the Tumor Series: I have been experimenting with blowing glass into thin membranes to recreate the thin tissue that contains vital portions of bodily organs and other growths. Exploring the differences between “normal” and “abnormal” growths, I’ve accumulated images of both benign and malignant tumors. The dynamics of each composition’s color and shape is beautiful and unique, while somewhat vile. By testing unconventional glass reactants with colored glass powders and fiberglass needles, I recreate tumors into extremely fragile glass vessels. I consider the tumors vessels because they contain diverse matter. Without dissection, the amount of danger within each tumor remains mysterious and undetermined.
Blonde, Glass Medical Tools and Hair, 12x14x10, 2013
Detail: Blonde, Glass Medical Tools and Hair, 12x14x10, 2013
Growth with Swoop Bang, Glass, Hair, Polyester Fiber, 2013
Bissection, Glass, 14×10, 2014 and detail of Bissection
Artist Statement Continued: I referenced medical drawings and anatomical diagrams to index the content of the glass tumors by color, line quality, and symbolism. Much of the “matter” used to fill the tumors consists of objects with overt cultural and racial associations including differently colored and textured hair, bamboo earrings, bandanas, chains as well as various medical tools and supplies that are often abandoned inside post-operative bodies. The different textures of hair represent different ethnic groups and convey a sense of cultural and racial identity on the body parts. The legitimacy of these decisions is supported factually by cases and practices in American medical history. Unfortunately, the majority of progress within American medicine has been made at the cost of the black body. Some examples include advancements in gynecology, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and the reported AIDS testing and treatment on young black children without adult consent as recently as the 80s.
Spread, Glass Installation, 6ft x 2 ft, 2013
Doreen Garner was born and raised in Philadelphia. She began as a painter before she discovered the processes of glass manipulation. Doreen uses glass to visually reconstruct the events and emotions of her personal history, using imagery, color, and light to depict her experiences concerning race, loss, gender, and who she represents in society. She received her BFA in Glass from Tyler School of Art at Temple University In 2009. Doreen has studied at craft intensive programs including Penland School of Crafts and Pilchuck Glass School. In 2010 Doreen was invited to become a fellow with the Creative Glass Center of America at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. Doreen is currently completing an MFA in glass at the Rhode Island School of Design while exhibiting works in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Providence.
See more of her work at http://www.doreengarner.com
Images courtesy of Doreen Garner