I was raised in the industrious rays of Midwest maternal labor practices. These practices endowed me with the inescapable responsibility of caring. My practice questions domestic histories by positioning personal generationally-learned labor as public political intervention. This investigation explores domestic sites once occupied by my relatives: farms, homes, and businesses that have since been sold or reclaimed become collected evidence of a family’s relationship to grief and change. These spaces hold the histories that have been mourned. By creating documentation of the manipulated space, they become distanced from the logic of the convention. This path represents my confusion about these places and how I grew up within them–an exploration of how belonging can be found in the act of inventing.
Melissa Loney is an interdisciplinary, project-based artist from Omaha, NE (she/they, 1998) whose work questions domestic sites’ imprint on intergenerational memory. Her interest in femme labor practices references her maternal grandmother’s cake-baking business in an often-flooded basement in rural Iowa. This business enabled her grandmother to subvert financial abuse and secure an independent income. As a disabled artist, she explores digital fabrications’ ability to empower differently abled bodies. She received her BA in Studio Art from Hastings College in 2020 and is currently pursuing her MFA in Sculpture X from the University of Arkansas.