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HARRIET SANDERSON

American, b.1947

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about

Harriet Sanderson describes her installation Molt, with Scurs as “…a private bedroom type space, a retreat for the person with chronic health problems, from which emerges, finally, an individual presenting herself to the ‘normal’ world. . . the daily ritual of resurrection begins and ends in the private space of the bedroom-dressing room.”  For Sanderson, a woman with post-polio syndrome and fibromyalgia, Molt, with Scurs, explores the dilemma of having chronic physical pain that requires certain accommodations that are not visibly apparent to other people. The conflict between either constantly ‘outing’ yourself publicly, or privately experiencing pain, is one that people with invisible disabilities know all too well. This conflict between the public and private, the visible and invisible, are manifest in the dualities present in Molt, with Scurs, where mattress pads are both resting place and medium, the seat of the chair punningly constructed with woven cane and then covered with pieces of canes. The tips of cane seated on the chair, and scattered around the room, seem to take on a life of their own; themselves disembodied from their usual role as walking devices, at rest, their “heads” bend inquisitively, almost tenderly, in multiple directions. There’s a personification of these typically medicalized objects, a beauty, and a distinct eroticism, in their arrangement and placement.

Fried  :  Horn   Sanderson  :  Scott  :  Splan
Nancy Fried, Torso with hands on hips
part of RE/FORMATIONS installation, Molt, with Scurs*, 2008
found mattress pads, chairs, shoes, ink, altered wood walking canes, and light


*Scurs are incompletely developed horns which are generally loose and movable beneath the skin, not attached to the skull. They range in size from small scab-like growths to occasionally almost as large as horns.
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