Art@Bainbridge | Witness / Rose B. Simpson

Rose B. Simpson (Tewa Pueblo, born 1983, Santa Clara Pueblo, NM; active Santa Clara Pueblo), Femme, 2020. Ceramic, metal, and mixed media, 76.2 × 30.5 × 30.5 cm. Collection of Emily and Mike Cavanagh

The sculptural figures in Rose B. Simpson’s installation Witness invite visitors to reflect on fundamental aspects of being human—as sentient, reactive, and impactful. Her works encourage direct interaction in order to explore such common human experiences as the effects of insomnia, tropes of gender identity, or the impact of microaggressions. Traces of such experiences attach to the sculptures’ bodies or heads, where humans absorb and process information, while their accoutrements and upright posture, with heads held high, confirm the dignity of individuals who accept these experiences. The sculptures seek empathetic responses from those who witness them; they look back at us, demanding introspection and acknowledgment of our actions. Simultaneously, Simpson’s slap-slab clay construction method preserves impressions of her hands and fingerprints; she accepts these imperfections as inevitable. The resulting works are—like all people—the sum of their experiences.

Art@Bainbridge is made possible through the generous support of the Virginia and Bagley Wright, Class of 1946, Program Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art; the Kathleen C. Sherrerd Program Fund for American Art; Joshua R. Slocum, Class of 1998, and Sara Slocum; and Barbara and Gerald Essig.

Additional support is provided by Stacey Roth Goergen, Class of 1990, and Robert B. Goergen; and the Morley and Jean Melden Education Fund for Prints and Drawings.