Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier, Visual Mythologist and Maker of Things
I teach but mostly I make journeys. Sometimes I am a photographer, sometimes a painter, sculptor, writer, textile fabricator and historian. I am inspired by the magic that occurs when one goes looking for ancestors--those unmapped spaces that are realized on front porches, at kitchen tables, in public archives, and on pages of old photographic albums tucked away in quiet corners. I listen, I reimagine and we as caretakers of our communities build artworks that remember where we came from and how we arrived.
WELCOME! I'm so happy that you stopped by!
The Journey Projects creates public art by utilizing a variety of art mediums to engage communities in thinking about personal ancestry and the ancestral memory of landscape. Working mainly by commission, the construction of Marshall-Linnemeier's large-scale mixed media textile works are collaborations between the artist and community members. "Community" includes churches, community groups, city governments, museums, arts centers and corporate partners. Geography, archaeology, botany, chemistry and mythology are all disciplines that are touched on through creativity and personal reflection. By utilizing the notion of quilting and collage, works of art are created through a variety of community activities and workshops. Her process often includes inter-generational collaborations where custom fabric is created through the cyanotype process and fabric dyeing. Participants range from age two to ninety-two.
Wolf Creek (pictured)
The latest journey project was completed on September 8 at the newly built Wolf Creek Library in South Fulton County, Georgia. The South Fulton County Community was engaged in the fabrication of of the installation along with the artist. This collaboration crisscrossed many demographic lines. Through the universal concept of ancestry, the community is engaged in a special kind of memory that is common to us all.
The project addressed three spaces in the library and each space presented the opportunity to address many different mediums. Photography, sculpture, textiles and ceramics are included in the installation. The public participated through hands on workshops and Gathering Circles, where I met with residents in libraries, offices and at church. The project took almost two years to complete and employed over 30 professional and semi-professional artists.
The Agan or ancestral memory cloth occupies the multipurpose room. The “Teen Spot” contains digital photographs produced by teenagers from the area and the Ogirishi Tree, an 18’ steel and ceramic sculpture is installed in the main library area.
For more information on the Journey Projects visit thejourneyprojects.com
Stereo Propaganda is an interdisciplinary endeavor that examines the notion of race in nineteenth and early twentieth century visual and material culture. The exhibition uses large-scale painted stereographs as a backdrop, highlighting the role that these documents played in the construction of the “other.” Because the stereographs use double images, the viewer is able to see the original photograph and my interpretation simultaneously. My interpretation attempts to “read” the images for signs of interiority. This affords the viewer the opportunity to “hear” the voices of the individuals depicted in the stereographs, which have been likened to television.
My work initially began with quilting and progressed to the Agan, a costume that is worn in an Egungun masquerade of the Ifa faith. The masquerader represents the return of an ancestor! My work represents a version of the costume but not for performance. Like the costumes brought over by curators, archaeologists, and collectors of African art viewed in museums across the world, the Agan is static, save for the complexity of photographic images that are represented. These images span time and space as the viewer moves through snapshot after snapshot and often formal images of loved ones who have passed away. The community is often engaged in the creation of the artwork through Gathering Circles, Cyanotype workshops and Sewing Circles. Ancestry is universal to every living thing. So too is gathering.
I began as a documentary photographer and often return to the genre. I am fond of recreating stories, especially those related first hand, using documentary photography. The images of the girls dressed in white revisits a story that was told to me by Mrs. Odessa Hall of Madison, Georgia about an aunt of mixed ancestry whose father required her mother to dress the child in white. The father left the mother and daughter almost 350 acres of land in Morgan County, Georgia. It is a fascinating story!
I first started making "illuminated photographs" in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I was a photography major at the Atlanta College of Art and graduated from there in 1990 with honors (Presidential Scholar). The photographs were black and white silver gelatin prints and I used acrylic paint and Marshall Oils to create new worlds of myth and fantasy. I transformed members of one community in Asheville into sages, angels, and guardian spirits, while documenting the once vibrant African American business district there. This way of transforming communities, through the notion of fantasy opens a myriad of doors and passageways into memory, imagination and narrative. I am a keen listener and the stories that are told to me often become the basis for a new body of work.