Introduction

Arielle Gray “Dreams and Tings”

Arielle Gray “Dreams and Tings”

Open Door Gallery Boston - June 18 through September 12, 2019

Banner reading "1 year. 4 artists. 4 shows. March 2019 - March 2020. Prisms: Perspectives on hidden disability"

Artist's Reception Thursday June 27, 2019 5-7pm

Treading the line of surreal and grotesque, writer and multi-media artist Arielle Gray turns her dreams and hallucinations into visual points of entry for the exploration of mental health and Afro-Caribbean identity. Born to a Black American mother and a Jamaican father, Gray was diagnosed with clinical depression at age 19 and subsequently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at 22. Each piece represents a dreamscape, an other-wordly space that she's experienced and written about. In these worlds, black deities roam, space and time have no meaning, and convening with ancestors is a quotidienne part of life. Utilizing textural elements like yarn and string that recall the lineage of knitting and crocheting in her family and more modern methods like digital manipulation and photography, Gray blends the boundaries of what is reality and what is dreaming, interrogating our culture's propensity to demonize both black bodies and the mentally ill.

Color photo of Arielle gray, with her hand reaching towards a cloud above her head, which is backlit in shades of pink.
A white cotton dress with a wide boat neck, puffy sleeves and layered double skirt hangs from a pole, with a strip of floral wallpaper behind.

Other Exhibits in the VSA MA Series "Prisms: Perspectives on Hidden Disability"

Brains are cool (even when they hurt)
Bethany Murray
September 17 - December 12, 2019

Hymn to the Body
Rachel Bird
December 17, 2019 - March 12, 2020

In the Colophony, a Sticky Mess
Tyler Williams
March 18 - June 3, 2019

Prisms: Perspectives on Hidden Disability offers artistic explorations of four artists' experiences with disability that are not initially visible to others, including learning and physical disabilities, chronic pain, and mental illness. By considering disability with the varied perspectives shared by the exhibiting artists, a spectrum of nuanced, gorgeous, and human experiences unfolds. In resonance with James Baldwin's declaration that "The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see.", it is with love that we share this work, invite necessary dialogue, and collectively envision a future that is more just for all.

 

Audio Description of Gallery and Exhibit