1881

2016 - Current
About 1881
"1881" is an ongoing series that further explores ideas introduced in my Master's exhibition "The Fall of New Zion". Inspired by my age long fascination with science fiction, horror, and a newer interest in history, the body of work is a multi-media exploration of the power of both folk lore and historical narrative and their ability to form emotional connections to our surroundings.
Stories have the ability to alter the relationship we have with the places we inhabit. With a narrative associated to an environment, that space has the potential to grow larger than the area it occupies. "1881" investigates this power of narrative through a variety of voices and mediums to weave a fantastic story in a larger history of the Missouri River Valley region of the Midwest.

My father is dead. My mother is dead. I will die being the end of this family line. It is here that I leave a final warning for any who wish to heed it.

To both friend and foe:
Stay away from the river.

-Nephi Graves, 1910

Setting The Scene / 11.5" x 11.5" / Acrylic / 2018
Interview: Kelsey "Z" / 05:43 / Digital Recording / 2017
After The Flood: The Fall of New Zion / 70.5" x 55.25" / Acrylic / 2018
Alley off Swift Between 28th and 29th Street North Kansas City, Missouri / 71" x 32" / Acrylic / 2017
What We Saw / Digital Video / 2:49 / 2017
Development of the Parasitic Fungus 'Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis' Stage 1-3 / 11" x 14" / Acrylic / 2017-2018
Interview: Jamie Comstock / 04:14 / Digital Recording / 2018
Issac Graves Performing Rituals to Resurrect the New Zion Worm as his son Nephi Graves Tries to Look Away / 70.5" x 55.25" Acrylic / 2018

I remember my mother's passing. She shed her life quietly in the night witnessed by only God. Father woke me that morning with shouts of my mother's name. When I came to investigate she was clothed and laying in repose on their bed as my father held her hand kneeling on the floor by her side.
He grieved in private, his countenance betraying none of his sorrow to the rest of our village. He spoke with heightened concern of the condition of her eternal spirit. Her spontaneous passing seemed to give him no pause, yet murmuring of plague haunted our neighbors. After a day of mourning and praying, father wandered into the woods the following morning and returned with branches of the Sycamore tree. He sequestered himself in our barn and by that evening emerged covered in sweat and dirt. He ate no food and slept. The morning of the third day he gathered his quorum and announced that he was given instruction by God to baptize mother. He revealed his labors of the previous night: a chair crudely made of the Sycamore branches. Her body was to be carried to the river lashed to her "Throne" and baptized in the Missouri River. The baptism proceeded shortly thereafter.
Her death became the birth of a new faith for my father.

That faith would drive my father to his untimely grave, but not before many more would fall under the weight of his convictions.

(text transcribed by Judith Green in 1930 from the handwritten memoir of Nephi Graves)

Setting The Scene / 15" x 16" / Acrylic / 2018
The Artist as Issac Graves / 31" x 44" / Charcoal and Pastel on Paper / 2017