This is a project that began on July 16th, 2009, as I drove through Nebraska during that hot summer’s day. This is an honest account of the life of this project, from beginning to end, not just an overview of the great and wonderful things that have happened along the way. This is the truth, in all of it’s ugliness and beauty. Because life is not a beautiful struggle. It is ridiculous and complicated and wonderful and amazing and disappointing and glorious.
The official blurb goes a little something like this:
“Why did we come here?”
This question was the catalyst that began a two-year journey of discovery to uncover the story behind the 200-year journey that artist Cassandra Harrison’s family made from England to America and back again.
Following the notes and photos left behind by her late grandfather (a former FBI agent), Cassandra set out to re-tell the story of her ancestors’ migration from Ivybridge to Exeter to Dudley, then on to Nebraska, following their emigration to America in 1868. Her strand of the story brings the connecting thread back to England, in Newcastle, 2009.
The Connecting Thread uses hand-printed textile images, bedsheets and pillowcases to create a living, tactile timeline. The exhibition is about realizing how decisions made hundreds of years ago affect who we are and where we are today. It’s about discovering another layer to our identity, appreciating the paths travelled by the people preceding us and giving life to the names on a family tree.
To see photographs of works in progress and completed artwork, please visit the Flickr page.
About the Artist:
Cassandra Harrison trained in Nebraska, graduating with honours in Fine Art and Art Education. In 2002, she moved to England where she continued her work as an artist, creating works for commission for private collectors, a children’s book author and a solicitors partnership. Harrison’s work has been exhibited throughout the country and was recently on exhibit in the Visual Arts Scotland Annual Open Exhibition at The Royal Scottish Academy Upper Galleries, Edinburgh. This is her first solo exhibition.