Visual Arts


Drawing Life by Mamie Bivin

‘Matrilineal succor’, a phrase borrowed from Clarissa Pinkola Estes, describes a process of drawing support from one’s lineage in times of struggle or hardship. Using the language of traditional portraiture to explore archetypal imagery, I am looking to myths and stories for sustenance and grounding in my own life.

Using mostly children’s craft materials as a tool to access a mindset of meditative play, I created handmade costume pieces for each of the painting subjects. The costume pieces mix elements from nature with recurrent symbols, reflecting the sitters’ connections to iconic female sources of power. Connecting with these individuals through painting has allowed me to cultivate my own contemporary images of power and presence.

About the Artist:

Mamie Bivin lives and works in Chattanooga, TN. In 2015, she received her BFA in painting and drawing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Bivin has already been included in several exhibitions including “Traces” at the Association for Visual Arts, Chattanooga, TN, “Exchange Exhibition” at Gallery 1010, Knoxville, TN, FRESH Emerging Artist Exhibit at AVA and “Offline”, Chattanooga, TN. In the spring of 2016, she was featured as an Emerging Artist in the 4 Bridges Arts Festival. Bivin works with various media, including oil painting, ink, charcoal, and gouache to create richly varied surfaces which explore the relationships between painting and drawing, and figure and abstraction.