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May
17

"POS (Parents Over Shoulder)," embroidered drawings from the "Friend Me" series by Kathy Halper

235 Westminster St, Providence, RI   (view map)

It’s remarkable how quickly we’ve come to accept — and expect — formerly private moments to be shared with everyone on Facebook. Kathy Halper’s “Friend Me” series features embroidered versions of photos of teens coupled with found texts: “Memorial Day also marks the beginning of ‘Bikini Profile Picture’ season”; “maybe if i keep dancing i won’t throw up.” The artist says: “The use of needlework implies a maternal hand and a sense of home. My goal as a mother is to explore and connect to this complex age group who often shut out their parents while still needing a soft bed and a tender touch. Because these kids are often in the throws [sic] of celebration there is a raucousness and lighthearted nature present in many of the images. But there are also moments of quiet, embarrassment, anger, recklessness and more. In choosing the text I am able to create a new narrative for the images that takes them further from their origins and captures a heightened moment in time . . . In the past, a teenager’s questionable discretions would remain a story to be told from the safety of adulthood. Now there is a constant documentation of their every move for the world to see. Is this a good development? Is this bad? I see both sides. But I know from the strong reactions and attention this work has received it creates a powerful discussion. One that covers issues of privacy, protecting our kids, controlling their behavior and my role as a mother creating this work.” Selections from the series are being exhibited in “POS (Parents Over Shoulder)” at Craftland Gallery, 235 Westminster St, Providence, May 17 through June 16; Halper will be at the opening reception on the 17th from 5 to 8 pm | 401.272.4285 | craftlandshop.com

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