Artist Carter Alexandra

5000 €

The Fruits of (In)fertility

I was born into a family of cranberry farmers in New England. These origins are the foundation of my latest body of work exploring fertility in terms of agriculture and the female body. The berry is a repeated icon in my visual lexicon: the fruit is like a garnet ambrosia, an exalted potion that seeps through all the works and intoxifies its subjects. Photographs of berries and botanical illustrations replace and adorn parts of the female body. Breasts become globular appendages that bubble up, guzzle down, shrivel, leak, and lactate. My paintings, made with layers of puddled pigment and collaged imagery on translucent drafting film, mimic explosive, liquid bodies splashing out of their own skins. I also use cranberry as a medium; in some of the works the juice stains antique linens, connecting the mark to an intimate bodily history. Influenced by folklore and mythology, I quote deities of jest, filth, lust, and light. Wanton figures of myth and fairytale embroil themselves within the monstrous feminine and the maternal grotesque. Meanwhile, finding challenges in starting a family of my own, I have put much research into my own body--into my infertility. The process of monitoring my own reproductive system through the medical lens of fertility specialists has brought a whole new equation into my language of “fertility”--one not only defined by roots, soil, and vine but now by ovaries, eggs, and sperm. I would use this residency to more clearly delve into this subject matter--not only the fertility folklore that I explored in recent work, but relating this to my own body, now more informed by biology and the phases through which women go that make or break their ability to, as we do in art, create. I would use the time and space to manifest this into new paintings and drawings, using new dialog to direct my compositions and for reference imagery.