The Sarah Moody Gallery of Art is proud to present the exhibition Coulter Fussell: My Love for You Is Deathless, March 23 through May 3, 2023. On Thursday, March 23, Coulter Fussell will present a lecture at 3:00 p.m. in the Yellowhammer Room of Gorgas Library on UA campus. A reception will follow in the gallery from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
“My love for you is deathless” is a quote taken from a letter a Union soldier wrote to his wife a week before he was killed at the First Battle of Bull Run, and it informs Coulter Fussell’s work in this exhibition, “a rumination on conflict and violence.” She writes, “These quilts are my exploration into the dual nature of violence, the cosmic and inescapable relational dance between entities in conflict. Using infamous-to-obscure pan-global military histories as prompts and props for my own personal tales of discord and redemption, I push boundaries by way of making connections across decades, places, time and dimensions. Drawing stylistically from a childhood spent reading comic books and watching nature shows in my hometown near the military base of Fort Benning, Georgia, I rely on our comparatively small mysteries and dramas to talk of the universal dynamic.
“Through the strict geometry of traditional quilting methods, I speak to the wild acceptance that we are mathematically bound to our natures but that there is beauty, escape and optioning in that very same math.
“As my quilting carries me further into the land of painting and sculpture, I am playing my hyper-personal stories as wild melodies in tandem with the harmony of broad themes of fate, force and freedom.”
SMGA director Professor Bill Dooley said, “The materiality of contemporary art has given way once again to the embrace of textiles in fine art. It is historically celebrated in the works of artists such as Anni Albers, and moving to the present, Coulter Fussell. Fussell’s clarity of intent is masterfully articulated in the works in this exhibition. She builds the work with materials, fabrics that already have histories, that evolve anew with the lean of a painter’s sensibilities. We are fortunate to have an opportunity to share her work with our community. It will be exciting to experience these celebrated works that merge her sensibilities as an artist with those of the quilt, indeed a seamless unity.”
Now living in Mississippi, Fussell was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, an old textile town. Hailing from generations of seamstresses and quilters, she produces quilt-works using discarded and donated textiles as her sole materials. Fussell has exhibited her work across the country. She is a 2021 Museum of Arts and Design Burke Prize finalist, a Jane Crater Hiatt Fellow and winner of the 2021 Mississippi Museum of Art Biennial, 2019 United States Artists Fellow in Craft, 2019 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Visual Arts inductee, 2017 winner of the South Arts Fellowship for Mississippi, and a finalist for the 2017 South Arts Southern Prize. Her website is here.
Image credit: Coulter Fussell, My Love for You is Deathless, discarded textiles, 56 x 70 inches, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.
The Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, supported by the College of Arts and Sciences and the UA Department of Art and Art History, is an essential part of the education and development of UA students and our community. Admission to the gallery is free. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. when school is in session. The gallery is located at 103 Garland Hall in the heart of UA campus on Woods Quad. Information about visitor parking is available on the UA Parking Services website. We invite you to visit us for a class, an opportunity to look at art, or just a quiet, meditative respite from the outside world. Visitors are not required but are encouraged to wear masks inside the gallery. Have questions or need assistance? Contact the gallery at 348-1891 or visit us online.
To find out more about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.