Sarah Edmands Martin discusses her research and creative activity, from projects that blend archival research, digital design, and community engagement at the Wylie House Museum, to work with clients like Citibank, to her most recent project “Ongoing Matter: Democracy, Design, and the Mueller Report,” co-created with Professor Anne H. Berry of Cleveland State University. This event is available to stream via the IU Arts and Humanities Council’s Facebook page.
Professor Martin will discuss projects like her site-specific stop motion-animation, Where the Shadow Falls, which focuses on the forgotten creative practice of Maggie Wylie Millette, a historic Indiana woman who dreamed of studying art in New York before the obligations of 19th-century marriage and motherhood diverted her path. Projected on the walls of the Museum, above the archival collection of Wylie family silhouette portraits in the “Women's Workroom,” the installation video art creates a direct dialogue between moving shadows created today and the recorded shadows of the past. Within the action of the stop motion, there is a rumination upon feminist artistry, legacy, and sacrifice.
Professor Martin will also share her continued exploration of fairytale as a space of intentional perversity. Rooted in the Latin verb pervertere, meaning “to turn away” or “to subvert,” fairytales embrace this turn: proposing worlds that exist just outside the authority of the normal. In German, the idea of the familiar is tied to the house, the domestic, the expected. Within a fairytale, there is the unheimlich, the “not at home,” or the unfamiliar, untame, uncomfortable (eerie, weird). With fairytales, society has the opportunity to view itself from outside the house, outside of itself, and while this space can be uncomfortable, it is also rife with possibility and change. She will share her recent stop-motion animation, Wishes + Fractured Vision, which opens at the Northern University of Illinois Art Museum in January. Wishes reclaims the weird and wondrous of perverse fairytales and explores the consequences of out-producing one’s past, the unheimlich of expansionism and capitalism. In this work, there are no princesses and no happily ever afters, as Wishes eschews the formula of Disney fairytales and returns to the darkness just outside the house. This work navigates these difficult themes within the magic and whimsy of the genre—helping a viewer accept that both bad and wondrous things can happen to everyone.
Finally, she will share a recent project, “Ongoing Matter”: a traveling, multi-platform collection of new poster designs that mobilizes political engagement and is co-created by Professor Ann H. Berry of Cleveland State University. This project seeks to encourage engagement with the Mueller Report. The exhibition of contemporary poster designs seeks to illuminate the major threats to democracy cited in the Mueller Report and functions as a living showcase of current political artifacts, empowering citizens at a crucial moment in the democratic experience (pre-2020 presidential elections). The project features the work of designers Sarah Edmands Martin, Anne H. Berry, Jenn and Ken Visocky O'Grady, Sarah Rutherford, Jessica Barness, Rafael Barahona, Marie Bourgeois, Mikey Burton, Brian Edlefson, Jordan Kauffman, Andre Murnieks, and Kelly Walters. The collection has travelled to several venues, including the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, Michigan, the Grunwald Gallery of Art at Indiana University, Cleveland State University Galleries in Cleveland, Ohio, and will return in February to the new galleries in Maxwell Hall at IU. This project received funding from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at CSU, the Ohio Arts Council, Indiana University’s Arts and Humanities Council, the New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Program, Indiana University Bloomington Grant-in-Aid Program, an anonymous donor and contributions from CSU faculty, staff and community supporters.
Sarah Edmands Martin is Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design. She holds degrees in English Literature and Painting from the University of Maryland, and continues to balance an active studio practice with research and pedagogy.
Presented by CAHI and the IU Arts and Humanities Council.