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Self Portraits: Artists Respond to Covid-19 (Curated by Anna Arnold)

Our "St. Persephone" was selected for this virtual exhibit, which has received regional and national press coverage (and 7,500+ visitors).

Selected press coverage of the exhibit:

View the exhibit on Wasmer Gallery's Flickr:

About St. Persephone (Medical Trials of the Saints):

MANDEM is a conglomerate, three-bodied artist identity fronted by Maize Arendsee with co-artists Kiki and Moco. While our studio practice ranges freely across a spectrum of media and materials, the core conceptual goal remains the same for every project: to balance attraction and repulsion, to incite with both beauty and revolution (revulsion’s more politically-active twin), and to explore the links between ancient stories and modern experiences. This hand-colored photograph shows a child Persephone surrounded by flowers, her mouth and hands stained with pomegranate juice. Visually, it is in dialog with the photographic collage-and-watercolor techniques developed and shared by Victorian women. For the youngest member of MANDEM, this self-portrait reflects an intense interest in nature, in collecting and arranging flowers, and in the story of the girl-child who came to control the seasons by transcending borders. For the elder MANDEM(s), it discusses a painful awareness of how winter (both literal and metaphorical) can seize a person and pull them out of the world for months at a time — and the difficulty of surrendering to that inevitability, of breaking open a celebratory pomegranate and facing the Underworld that needs our strength just as surely as the surface world does. May St. Persephone bring solace to those in isolation, those unable to visit loved ones, and those cut off from the world and comforts they’ve known. Like Persephone’s absence is a promise that springtime will return, your physical distance gives the gift of future life. And for those who will soon journey into the Underworld, may you be filled with St. Persephone’s resolve and fearlessness.


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