You Must Be Held

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 1 , 5-9PM
Gallery Hours: By Appointment on Saturdays, 12-3PM.

Specialist presents You Must Be Held, an exhibition by Julia Freeman.

On June 24, 2022, The United State Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade. This decision ended 49 years of federal protection for the right to abortion. Julia Freeman’s You Must be Held confronts this moment by examining ways that social and political institutions encode, entangle and instrumentalize expressions of tenderness and expressions of violence.

You Must be Held draws on Freeman’s experiences in her roles as a settler, a teacher and a mother.  The exhibition includes paintings, collages, sculptures and sound from three distinct series: Full Pattern (2015), Holding Pieces (2017) and You Must be Held/The Bodies (2022). These intimate, often collaborative artworks engage the rage and grief of being an unwilling, yet unyielding, arbiter of tenderness and violence. In You Must be Held, Freeman quietly, and often unexpectedly, invents rituals that begin to mobilize this rage through acts of self-reflection and care.

Julia Freeman grew up in a suburb outside of Kansas City, Missouri. Freeman graduated from the University of Washington in 2007 with her MFA in Fibers and has lived in Seattle for the past 17 years as an artist, curator, and teacher. Her artistic practice has critically examined civility and etiquette, the military-industrial complex, drug culture, and social media. These projects use a variety of materials and processes which take the form of installations, performance sculptures, book arts, and new media works. She is always considering ways to engage the audience in the artistic experience while archiving and examining these systems of power.

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