Ramekon O’Arwisters

Ramekon O’Arwisters: Freeform and Razor-Sharp

Curated by Selam Bekele
April 5, 2023
June 11, 2023


Ramekon O’Arwisters is a multimedia artist primarily known for his captivating freeform sculptures which experiment with vibrant color, repurposed ceramics, and rich traditions of quilting and weaving. By entangling shards of broken clay, shredded fabric, and discarded materials, the artist contemplates the tangible nature of emotional trauma. Experiencing constant vulnerability as a Black and queer man from the American South, O’Arwisters explores dualities of protection and danger through building what he refers to as “cultural totems” in his work. Receiving his Master of Divinity from Duke University Divinity School, O’Arwisters carries a unique lens on spiritual traditions, and incorporates these healing methods within his artistic practice.

In this exhibition, we have selected key sculptures from O'Arwisters’ studio that span several years of his formal experimentations and place them in conversation with his additional practice of black-and-white photography. As an extension of his conceptual process, these self-portraits employ a transference of materials from O’Arwisters’ sculptures to create a sharp and intimate dialogue with his own body.

O’Arwisters draws the viewer into his ethereal world, while withholding evident displays of his sorrow or joy. Instead, he insists on abstraction, and encourages the viewer to grapple with their own internal fears and wounds. Through a deeply meditative process, O’Arwisters pieces together what once was abandoned and neglected to reimagine the possibilities of collective liberation.

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