For Alisha B. Wormsley, it's all about the past. And the present. And the future.
Wormsley describes herself as an interdisciplinary artist who uses many different things and concepts. “I work mostly in film and electronic media, so that’s pretty much any visual, digital, audio combination of sorts in an installation and projection,” she said.
“Conceptually, I think about things in the fifth dimension,” she continued, “which is thinking about everything past, present, and future all happening at the same time.”
Wormsley’s past artworks have included the Children of NAN video, There Are Black People in the Future, Out of Africa, For Autistic Black Boys Who Are TOO Curious and the Extinction(w/ Mantras)video installation.
Her current project “We Live” was inspired by John Carpenter’s 1988 science fiction film They Live and is part of The Andy Warhol Museum’s Activist Print program, a collaboration between The Andy Warhol Museum, BOOM Concepts, and the North Side printmaking studio Artists Image Resource (AIR).
“I’d just seen that film - I’d seen it several times - but I just happened to watch it the weekend before I went to work on this,” she explained. “And I’d just seen this article about a meditation room that was being used in schools instead of detention. And I was really inspired by both of those to think about how we can move forward from what’s happening in the United States -- and the world really - but in the United States as far as the new administration and the global crisis and the climate crisis and all of those things.”
Wormsley’s child also contributed to her thinking about the project: “I have a one-year old. It’s my first child, and seeing things through the eyes of a mother -- there’s nothing more eye-opening than having a child. All of these things contributed to the panels I created.”
“We Live” is made up of four panels that have been exhibited on the windows of the Rosa Villa, a building across the street from The Andy Warhol Museum.
Wormsley’s next project is with the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hillman Photography Initiative and will take place in September and October of this year.
“It’s a month-long installation in Homewood,” she said. “I’m curating a series of events led by women who are presently working in different areas of healing and art and social justice, social work within the community. There are also two artists that I’m bringing to do actual installations and the workshops will happen within these spaces.”
Once again, her work is about the past, the present, and the future. “The past in Homewood is actually this artist Robert Hodge who’s representing the past by taking abandoned property and re-creating it in the time period in which it was most used. The present is this group of women who are doing these workshops. And the future is sound artist Ricardo Robinson who is creating a sound installation. And through the whole project I’ll be doing a lot of photography and creating a video and a catalog from the whole month.”
Alisha Wormsley, along with fellow Activist Print artists Paradise Gray and Bekezela Mguni, will be part of a conversation about their participation in the project on Sunday, March 19, at 2pm at The Andy Warhol Museum.
Henry Lipput is a blogger, writer, and film and music enthusiast living in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.