July 11 - September 25, 2020
A solo exhibition featuring work by Sarah Hutt.
From the gallery:
“Sarah Hutt’s “My Mother’s Legacy” confronts viewers with a formidable presence – a 1,000 line poem burned into the bottom of 1,000 wooden bowls. Each bowl is a vessel of sustenance, as well as an offering of unconditional love, of loss and renewal, the passing of generations. Hutt was just 13 years old when her mother died. In the summer of 1994, Hutt’s sister came up with an idea of putting together memory books on each set of grandparents for her children. Finding only fuzzy black and white photos taken by their mother, without explanation, date or location, Hutt realized her family’s historical links had vanished.
She began to write down lines, phrases, fragments of conversation and chipper banalities as a way to coalesce memories and give them form: “My mother told me to take chances;” My mother said trust your own judgment;” My mother kept a bluebird feather;” My mother loved Sinatra.” At KHFA, the 1,000 bowls are stacked and piled onto tables where they can be picked up and read at random. “As each bowl is lifted, it reminds me of my mother’s habit of turning things over to see where they were made,” says Hutt.
These cultural castoffs do not excuse themselves from the demands of real life. They glow with strange significance and can be viewed as metaphors for cultural illusions about romance, success, even mortality. Just as important are the underlying emotional currents of sorrow, discontent and a sense of missed opportunities – things that could or should have been said.
Touching each bowl (disposable gloves are provided), reading each phrase compels us to come to grips with the fact that life doesn’t always work the way we expect it to. Her installation resonates in our anxious, uncertain times: There are moments when the world we take for granted instantly changes; when reality is abruptly upended and the unimaginable overwhelms or scrambles our lives.
Hutt’s bowls are almost imperceptibly transformed into works pregnant with meaning – not because she has worked some sort of mysterious alchemy on them – but because she has left well enough alone. Each bowl brings us back to life’s little miracles. Like visual riddles, they beckon the eye as a way of baiting the mind.”
Dallas, 75226 Texas