A husband and wife collaborative artist team since 1998, Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry have worked and exhibited globally, seeking to discuss issues revolving around marginalized members of society. Drawing on the history of representation and race relations as well as their own experience as an interracial couple, they create work in a variety of media, including film, performance, painting, and installation.
Bearing Witness is a multi-venue survey of over ten years of work by the artist duo Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry. The exhibition is organized by the Contemporary Museum and the Maryland Institute College of Art’s 2009/2010 Exhibition Development Seminar. While the Contemporary Museum will show the artists’ most recent paintings and video work, the Walters will serve as the venue for their 2006 work Bearing.
These 8 larger-than-life mother-and-child portraits painted on silk and suspended from the ceiling in the Level 3 Lobby and Octagon are accompanied by audio testimonials from the black teen mothers about their pregnancies and lives following that experience. The portraits in Bearing were made to recall the Madonna and Child, to parallel the struggles as well as the beauty and dignity of motherhood that the Virgin Mary was faced with in the context of contemporary mothers facing their own obstacles today. Thus, the pictorial comparison brings a new relevance to historical icons housed in the Octagon; instead of appearing as artifacts of material culture disconnected from contemporary society, they become immediately germane to issues present in today’s culture.
Bearing: Shaquanna (portrait of Shaquanna from installation of Bearing, F.U.E.L., Philadelphia, 2006), photography and audio, 2006