In our windows, Chicago artist Jamie Steele has installed pieces from her latest project, Gone to Seed. This work examines Steele’s conservative Southern upbringing, canonical depictions of women, and the eccentricities of femininity. The pieces take on both photographic and sculptural arrangements that reflect on and reject conventional feminine tropes. The exhibition title, Gone To Seed, is perhaps most clearly illustrated via the two landscape photographs depicting the once-stately-now-overrun Grey Gardens. The newly grown wilderness directly references the estate’s former residents, Big and Little Edie, an unconventional mother and daughter who lived on the fringes of society all the while attempting to maintain a lady-like presence within their poverty. However, that is just one piece of a much larger narrative; Steele’s work as a whole constructs a complex dialog around the forms (and extremes) that femininity can take.
Steele holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of the South (2007) and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2012). She also is the co-founder of GURL DON’T BE DUMB, a Chicago based curatorial project. Recent exhibitions include: Archetype Drift, Johalla Projects, Chicago, IL (2013), MDW Fair, Chicago, IL (2012), RANCH, Iceberg Projects, Chicago, IL (2012), The Great Refusal: Taking On New Queer Aesthetics, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL (2012), DESTINEEZ CHILD + GURL DON'T BE DUMB // SCREENING, Threewalls, Chicago, IL (2012), Twenty in Their Twenties, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL (2012), and STICKLIP, Upstairs Gallery, Chicago, IL (2011).