Sheila Pree Bright
The Rebirth of Us
Updated: Mar 28
The Rebirth of Us is a selection of large-scale silver gelatin prints from three new series distilling the tensions of her earlier depictions of racial and political conflict to their transhistorical roots. First commissioned by the High Museum in 2021 as a continuation of its Picturing the South projects, Invisible Empire captures images of Stone Mountain's infamous bas-relief and its surrounding landscape. Bright intentionally mimics these clashing interests, beginning at the level of aesthetics: "the photographs are shiny and black and white, and I wanted them to look beautiful enough to engage you, to draw you in, and then hit you with the real message." Works from Behold the Land, revisiting Bright's interest in W.E.B. Du Bois' interrogation of the South and on view for the first time at Jackson Fine Art, further bolster the artist's interest in investigating sites of generational trauma and transmuting them into a potential future rooted in joy. The collective series is a meditation on the conflict between Georgia's rarely acknowledged natural beauty and the darkness and violence that dominate its perception in the American psyche.
The work is inspired by Dubois's 1924 essays 'Invisible Empire' and 'Behold the Land' 1946.