The Oracle Said, "Be Still"

Sharon Farmer, Beatrice Fergerson 1, 1991, silver gelatin print.

October 7 – October 29, 2023

HEMPHILL is pleased to share The Oracle Said, "Be Still," curated by artist Renée Stout at IA&A at Hillyer, on view through October 29, 2023.

During the height of Covid, I created a print that featured a disembodied head (the ‘oracle’), in which it suggested in a speech bubble that we should ‘be still.’ In that stillness I had hoped that we would all take the time to care for ourselves, reassess our lives and re-focus on the things that are most important...

When I was invited to curate this exhibition, my immediate thought was to organize a show in which selected DMV artists would have an opportunity to express their thoughts and frustrations about the current state of our local and national political landscape and the discordant effects the “noise” and mayhem of the past seven years has had on each of our daily lives. But then I worried that the resulting “collective venting” would only serve to add to the decibels. 

Instead, I took an opposite but no less therapeutic approach, in the hopes of helping to dial back some of the noise and offer the viewer a space of respite to quiet their minds and take the time to ponder and reflect on simple, joyful moments, as well as the fragility of nature, the fragility of democracy, and the fragility of life itself.

~ Renée Stout

Featured Artists: Cheryl Edwards, Sharon Farmer, Cianne Fragione, Adrienne Gaither, Elaine Qiu, Ellyn Weiss, Joyce Wellman, Trevor Young

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