Exponent II is excited to announce an online auction for this stunning donated artwork by Art Editor Page Turner. The piece graced the cover of the Winter 2014 Exponent II and is called “Matriarch to Millions.” The following essay, written by Page, gives a history of the artwork and her relationship to Exponent II. Readers can learn more about Page and her art here. If you would like to bid on this piece, send an email to exponentiieditor AT gmail DOT com by 5pm EDT on Saturday. The winner will be announced on Monday.
In 2014 I was making art in a fevered state and reading everything I could get my hands on regarding Mormonism or feminism. I had only recently realized that the two terms had any connection. My husband continually whispered tiny nudges that I should share my sculptures with my Mormon women, knowing that my visual vocabulary would resonate strongly with my Mormon sisters. I pulled up my big-girl pants and did a Google search for “Mormon feminist artists” and Exponent II’s page came up. A beacon in the dark, a tribe, and the first time I did not feel alone. Since my big-girl pants were already pulled up high, I took a deep breath and sent an email to Aimee Evans Hickman telling her a bit of my story and sharing a few photographs of my sculpture series, “A Stitch In Time Saves Nine.” Instantly, a connection was made that felt like an embrace from a long lost friend. My story and sculptures were featured in the Winter 2014 Exponent II. I received a flood of emails from sisters sharing with me their stories of the women in their life and melting my heart with lovely compliments and connections. My voice has been strengthened, my tribe recognized, and my purpose revealed.
When Pandora and Margaret asked me to serve as Art Editor in 2015, I hardly had to give it a second thought. I am delighted to be given the opportunity to seek and find sisters sharing their voice through the visual. I am deeply honored and grateful for being a tiny part of Exponent II.
A bit of background on the artwork: She is made from a salt shaker and a perfume bottle found near an abandoned house’s glass dump -deep in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. The earth had eroded away to reveal these everyday objects of domestic life that call to me. The salt shaker holds a handful of wheat berries. Her gown is made from a quilt from my family, so old and worn that its pieces are struggling to remain, adorned with my grandmother’s watch and antique tatted lace. The perfume bottle is topped with an anniversary clock pendulum. Her wings are gifts found in my woods, which I preserved as taught to me when I was child by an elderly Mormon sisters. She stand approximately ten inches tall and comes with her glass case. While I was making this sculpture, I had a realization that I was searching for the identity of my femininity and more to the point, my female power and strength. Her name rolled right off my tongue: “Matriarch to Millions.”