Andrea Keys Connell presents life-size ceramic sculptures in the Craddock-Terry Gallery
Andrea Keys Connell’s sculpture may be a bit unsettling when first entering the gallery. While they are simply representations of Hummel figurines (dolls, really), their intent stares and tumultuous poses transform them into something entirely different. They are at once fantastical, whimsical, and yet troubling. Keys Connell describes the concept behind her work:
The sculptures that I make are driven by a desire to investigate how an individual’ s personal history affects their identity, behaviors, and actions. I am especially interested in intergenerational trauma and how a person’s past, particularly a past that has been interrupted by a traumatic event such as war, can influence patterned behaviors that are passed through the family.I am exploring characteristics of the Western collective identity by referencing both Social Realist Monuments and Hummel Figurines. The rendering qualities of the Hummel figurine are a visual trigger of a specific language of social idealization of the child/childhood. Their chubby, red cheeks and full bodies, their curious, sweet gestures, doe eyes and sturdy wide stance represent health, happiness and an uncorrupt innocence. The Hummel is a symbol of unblemished purity. The pedestal that both the monument and Hummel are presented on is a stage that represents their unrealistic social idealization and removes them from reality. When the pedestal is removed, turned over, or sinking, their vulnerability is revealed and their true, flawed human psyche is apparent.
The Craddock-Terry Gallery supports the mission of Riverviews by exhibiting the work of professional level artists in a variety of media for the enrichment and enjoyment of the citizens of Central Virginia.