“Taking the Edge Off” a BFA thesis exhibition by Amber Davis Briggs

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I see the corners of a room as edges to be softened but also as a sacred space that is overlooked, humble and quiet. Moving my art to the corners is a way of bringing attention to the margins. It is a way of making spaces less severe and exerting strength of sentiment, intuition, emotion, vulnerability and intimacy.

In a prior series of sculptural works I padded the corners of a kitchen table as a symbolic act of protection. After the padding was removed from the table the bundles of cotton and tape became objects of intrigue and sources of comfort. I touched, looked, and studied their forms. I paid attention to the choice of cloth and the different tonal shadows it provided. I lost myself between the folds, crevices, and binding, finding security. This reminded me of the security I found as a child napping among the piles of unbleached cotton while visiting my grandmother who worked at the sock factory. As I considered the processes of working sculpturally with the table, I contemplated the mental and emotional pain that we experience and the ways we seek relief. I wondered if I could make objects that evoked a comforting experience using folds of fabric. Could I create healing spaces that also acknowledged suffering?

My process is rooted in the balance between material, concept, and process. For this installation I used blankets, t-shirts, table cloths, and vintage remnants because they carry a trace of their previous life with them. Cloth is traditionally used for covering and protection. For Taking the Edge Off I mined my memory for content using my own painful experiences.

The solace of cloth. The sound of a sewing machine. The experience of hiding in out-of-the-way places.