Exhibit | Anne George – Flight Behavior: A Murder of Crows
Artwork: Southern Constellation
Although Beyonce’s video for “Formation” has brought Southern Gothic to the forefront of global pop culture, this exquisite subgenre of American art and literature dates back to the nineteenth century before the Civil War. It uses Gothic tools not only to create aesthetic effects but also to explore the cultural character of the American South and to study the issues particular to the region. Elements of magical realism are expertly woven into the fabric of the work, creating a dark romanticism that combines Southern humor with social critique.
Artist Anne George grew up in the heart of the South, she became exposed to and influenced by the aesthetic native to her land and began integrating aspects into her work. To create images that reflect a sense of nostalgia, George blends modern Photoshop techniques, oils, glazes, and waxes to create texture and depth. She melds pixels, paper, ink and paint to create compelling photographic fusions that celebrate her native Louisiana as well as people, places, and stories that move her.
A selection of her work is currently on view in Flight Behavior: A Murder of Crows at SE Center for Photography, Greenville, SC, now through March 2016. George observes, “I grew up with people and places that grounded my roots deep into the southern soil and my heart into Louisiana’s personality I sense the South, within its old things that still have purpose, in its soft blanket of pine straw beneath my feet and its suffocating summer nights and in the storytelling beneath its branches of culture and history.”
Flight Behavior: A Murder of Crows gives us a stunning glimpse into the intense soul of the South, revealing the darkness that lurks beneath the surface of its gentility. By combining photography with paint and ink, George creates a deep, layered effect that pulls us in. A sense of the ghastly and ghostly haunts these works, never quite revealing itself, much like the title of the exhibition itself.
The term “murder” was first used to describe a flock of crows as far back as the fifteenth century. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests this is an allusion to “the crow’s traditional association with violent death” or “its harsh and raucous cry.” This usage, which apparently died out after the 1400s, was revived in the 20th century, aligning itself perfectly with the mysterious and macabre aesthetics of Southern Gothic art.
George reveals, “These southern memories will always be part of who I am and the work I do. I utilize photography for more than a means l to capture a moment in time, but as a voice to capture a movement through time. I desire to describe a journey, a fairytale, a feeling of progression through and to something, and it propels my artist eye to such a beginning and an end.”
All images © Ann George
Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer, curator, and brand strategist. There is nothing she adores so much as photography and books. A small part of her wishes she had a proper library, like in the game of Clue. Then she could blaze and write soliloquies to her in and out of print loves.