Visual Vigil
March 21 - May 3, 2020
City Gallery at Waterfront Park, 34 Prioleau St, Charleston SC 29401

Visual Vigil is an active conversation on the effects of mass shootings. Susan Perkins created contemplative pieces that represent the lives lost and communities affected by mass violence from 1903 through the present day.

Her work is presented linearly and chronologically. The pieces are clean and restrained for less distraction, to create empty space, and to remain neutral.

Perkins began creating Visual Vigil after the mass shooting at Mother Emanuel. As a part of her meditation, Perkins regularly engages in mark-making with Sumi ink on Kozo paper, which she considers her personal calligraphy. The meditation marks are torn, collaged, and transformed to symbolize the on-going shifting and reshaping of life. Lokta paper weavings are created in a grid pattern, then painted on Kozo paper making a grid impression. She creates the grid to represent the collective energy field that we all live within, believing we are interlinked—if one is affected, we are all affected. She further believes our greatest strength comes from our connectivity to one another.

Perkins hopes the art can serve as a backdrop for conversations around the societal and psychological effects of mass violence. “I found a cathartic outlet to express my feelings, compassion, and tried to process the senseless violence,” she says.