Bedsheet paintings made by Josh Eller and Emma Gottschalk.
Immigration Elegy begins with the history of walls and how they have been used to separate people, typically out of fear and misunderstanding. The large scale typographic paintings on bedsheets portray my struggle with the complexities surrounding contemporary immigration, such as at the United States and Mexico border. I approach these issues using borrowed language from poetry, culture, and graffiti, alongside original sentiments. By doing so, I explore the tension between my desire to help while fighting an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. My work considers the ways in which we receive those migrating from another country, whether that be with hospitality or hostility. The sheets are symbolic of these contradicting approaches to welcoming immigrants - with beds and warm sheets or the cold floors of detention centers. The sheets also recall the hand painted signs and flags of protests, such as those hung along sections of the border wall.