land memory project
Science Gallery Atlanta & Piedmont Park
Atlanta, Georgia | 2023
Harris created the Land Memory Project as part of Science Gallery Atlanta's JUSTICE exhibition season, in collaboration with Emory University and Piedmont Park Conservancy. The experiential project highlighted multiple layers of local history, using site-specific earth as a vehicle for story-telling and remembering.
The project centered around creative processing and communal rhizomatic learning. Community members were invited to share their land memories of Atlanta and explore the connections between history and environmental injustices. Through a 2-week creative process on the grounds of Piedmont Park, participants shared personal histories, learned about Muscogee and Atlanta land history with Dr. Loren Michael Mortimer, and worked with Dr. Eri Saikawa to learn about local soil toxicity and measure the lead in their own soil. Participants discussed the connections between their home’s past, environmental realities, and imagined possible futures. Using earth pigments from places that are important to them, participants made their own paintings titled after their memories of that land.
The learning experience culminated in a community event in Piedmont Park where the artists shared their land memories and learning experiences through the project. In response, the audience was then invited to create their own land memory paintings using earth from the park, mirroring the ripple effects of learning and importance of story-telling for communal growth and action.
The paintings were sewn together into an earthen scroll and installed at Science Gallery Atlanta, accompanied by the participants’ voices sharing their land memories and hopes.
with many thanks to:
Land Memory Project is part of the JUSTICE exhibition at Science Gallery Atlanta on view through September 2023