As the Words Turned to Dust, They Did So in Twos

As the Words Turned to Dust, They Did So in Twos


Arden Cone

(Tryon, NC) 

Acrylic, gold leaf and collected barn dust on glass 

My art focuses on the South’s identity and the enigmatic people—myself included—who have built its culture. By contextualizing questions of privilege, access, and nostalgia within the broader history of the South, I investigate our present-day social struggles through the lens of their Antebellum roots. This land—that of the red state paradox and the Confederate-flag-waving, self-proclaimed, quote-unquote, "American patriot"—is as incongruous as it is ironic. The people here are known to dazzle visitors with southern hospitality, but make yourself at home, and you’ll find out a truth: there is no southern archetype, no stereotype, nor is there a caricature that will suffice to sum us up. Through my art, I open the door to careful contemplation, encouraging viewers to hold in suspension the pain and laughter of the South's identity complex.