The Yellow Wallpaper
6’ x 22.5’, watercolor and iron gall ink on paper, 2019
$2,500 - Add to cart

Artist Talk
August 20th - October 1st, 2019
Republic Square Park, Austin TX

Salt and Time is pleased to announce Cheyenne Weaver’s installation, The Yellow Wallpaper. For this temporary installation Weaver explores the movement of power through historical contexts and local materials. The title of the work takes its name from the early feminist short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, published in 1892. The story is of a women’s descent into to madness brought on by forced “rest cure”. Imprisoned in her bedroom she becomes obsessed with the wallpaper. Likely printed with commonly used arsenic pigments of the time, she first notices its "yellow" smell, its "breakneck" pattern which begins to mutate. She begins to hallucinate women trapped behind the pattern as she eventually merges identities with these women as she frees them from the walls. 

The yellow pigments used in constructing the work include watercolors and iron gall ink made from rusty nails and oak galls collected from the park’s Auction Oaks, where the city’s property was first auctioned off at the founding of the town. The relationship between parasitic and hyperparasitic oak gall wasp larva who host each other inside the small gall incubators recontextualizes the argument for strict personhood through the fluid boundaries between parasites; mirroring and controlling each other in myriad forms from both within and without. Weaver’s work points to the shifting powers between the written law and written experience in women’s rights in Texas, the patterns that entrap us, and the ongoing discovery of new and varying modes of being.