The Strength of a Wildflower by Morgan McCarver

March 23 - May 18, 2022Crutchfield Gallery

Artist Statement

My work is inspired by Early Victorian American women.
Like the female mentors in my life, native wildflowers have always been near to me; I just have to seek them out. Women have historically been compared to delicate flowers; I reinterpret that symbolism by allowing the porcelain wildflower imagery to represent a woman’s inner strength. I apply my drawings as transfers similar to a seamstress overlaying patterns and designs on a dress form. The individual within the identical is found through surface design.

Hexagons embody the human desire to control the organic. The hexagon verges on circular, but still upholds rigid angles. Similarly, the organic female silhouette adapts to cultural beauty standards through rigid stays and corsetry. My experiences with scoliosis corrective back bracing and surgery allow me to empathize with my corset-wearing ancestors. Metal rods and boning are ingredients for both corsetry and scoliosis surgery. My back brace was painful, but designed to correct my form. Surgery straightened my spine permanently with metal screws and rods. Similarly, the Victorian corsetry was designed to “perfect” the female body through constricting boning. My “S” curve needed to be straightened, while Victorian women used their corsets to enhance their curves.

Inner strength has a different meaning for everyone. For me, it is learning from my female ancestors and mentors, relying on my Faith, and building from my own experiences.

Corseted Dogwood Fluted Vase by Morgan McCarver. Porcelain
Corseted Dogwood Fluted Vase
Wild Violet Teapot and Teacup by Morgan McCarver. Porcelain
Wild Violet Teapot and Teacup
X-Ray Series #3 by Morgan McCarver. Porcelain, fiber, metal
X-Ray Series #3
Porcelain, Fiber, Metal