Alpha Bruton creates environmental art installations where objects and images are selected to “serve as cultural mirrors" and the sites in which they are situated serve as part of a broader cultural commentary.
She is also an art consultant, and chief curator for the Phantom Gallery Chicago.
“Holding Glass up to the Light, Where it Can Sing”
Holding Glass to the Light, So It Can Shine
cobalt blue glass
Grandmother’s Circle: A Tribute to Mama Crecy and Sallie Alpha “Holding Glass up to the Light, Where it Can Sing” is an installation about bottle imps – a 3,000 year old Arabic tradition, handed down to Sub-Saharan Africa. Brought by African slaves to America, they appear in Southern yards as bottle trees. It is believed that the bottle can trap bad spirits and that shiny things around the house would attract evil things away from the family. Cobalt blue bottles are coveted because they repelled the evil spirit and trapped night spirits to be destroyed by the rising sun.
This installation is a simulation of a ceremonial purification circle, in which objects and images are selected to serve as cultural mirrors. Alpha Bruton believes that objects in the public sphere serve to communicate and reinforce certain cultural narratives, hierarchies, and social mythologies.