Kristen Tordella-Williams, an assistant professor of art at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, has shown nationally and internationally, most recently at 203art in Shanghai. Her interests lie in the layers of impressions left by our bodies on the environment around us and the reciprocal impressions our bodies hold from the wear and tear of living. She re-interprets the remnants of labor, identity, gender, and memory, discovered or made, and is inspired by processes such as performance, papermaking, sculpture or printmaking using materials commonly found in hardware stores, supermarkets, and recycling bins.
Our bodies contain the memories each day lived. I focus on how to physically represent these inherent memories of labor through multiple processes, often meditative by nature. I am continually fascinated in the remnants of labor found in our environment. I use sculpture, performance art, video, photography, paper, print, and book making to express experiences had, such as a collaborative sawmill ballet, unbound books documenting a series of cast iron wreaths and associated research, or a video exhibiting the answer to “how many screws can fit into my mouth?” Layers of history surface in multiple works through reflections of human folklore, rituals, and evolution. Natural Histories (2017), my most recent body of work, focuses on impressions made onto and by our bodies. Ultimately, my stubborn curiosity and absurd logic lead to a compilation of fossils - memories, processes, materials, images - that combine into a cross-media body of work.