In The Burden of Wait, Jodi Hays and Michi Meko come together to present a selection of works rooted in their shared focus, the Southern landscape.
Through her use of reclaimed cardboard, dyed fabrics, and other quotidian materials Hays explores the visual lexicon of the American South. She describes her practice as “a southern povera,” calling upon the use of unconventional and humble materials. Through this deliberate use of found material, the artist visualizes the resourceful labor of women in the South as those that make, stack, sew, mend, and fix.
Meko is an Alabama-raised artist, currently living and working in Atlanta. His work is inspired by his experience as a Black man alone in nature. Meko depends on the color black as the primary medium in his works. As such, his landscapes impart a metaphysical aura, inviting the psyche to roam and wander. Meko constructs a world of the sublime: awe-inspiring, beautiful, frightening, and powerful.
The juxtaposition of Hays' colorful assemblages and Meko’s expansive paintings offer a nuanced narrative of the American South as a place of endless transformation. Side by side, these artists showcase the scope and material breadth of the Southern imagination.