a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
I was raised as a devout Mormon; my work is informed by both my Mormon heritage and a feminist perspective. I look to the religion and its complex history as inspiration, and explore the divide between righteousness within the faith and women’s personal power. With deep reverence, I pay homage to pioneer women of the Mormon faith, as well as the contemporary sisterhood and my Appalachian community’s pioneer sisters.
I have collected and adorned bits from my mountain, stitched delicate fragments of ancient family quilts and dresses, hand-spun fluffs of wool into gathering baskets – assembling a marked, open sacred space for a congregation of women seeking. In the exhibit, bodies dive into hollow logs, holes, and under piles of marked seeds. The sisters’ legs and skirts are visible, but their heads and torsos, active in searching, are invisible to the viewer. The collection features objects with gilded animal bones, miniature woven baskets, wood, and soft sculpture legs and skirts made of heritage fabrics. I bring you a reflection of my own sacred spaces marked with parts of tatting patterns from the Mormon temple altar cloths. This work is a touchstone for contemporary women who are searching for their own
Page Turner is an assemblage artist who collects items of deep personal meaning to create delicate sculptural pieces infused with a new feminist aesthetic and a soulful reverence for her heritage. Recently featured in 50 Contemporary Women Artists: Groundbreaking Contemporary Art from 1960 to Now, her work is grounded in the Appalachian region of Virginia. Turner has exhibited widely in Virginia, North Carolina, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. Her recent exhibitions include FemiNest at Equity Gallery in New York; a joint exhibit with her husband, Contemporary Appalachia: Zephren & Page Turner, at Artists & Makers Studios Gallery in Maryland; and a solo exhibition Power & Restraint: A Feminist Perspective on Mormon Sisterhood at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University in Roanoke. Her sculptures have been featured in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Immediate Present, Artemis Journal: Artist and Writers of the Blue Ridge, and Exponent II Magazine.