What She Carries
For Mags Harries, several political and environmental events coalesced to act as a catalyst for the work featured in What She Carries. In this new diverse body of sculpture, the artist takes on the war in Ukraine, political upheaval in the United States, and abortion law, as well as the global climate emergency.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, normal lives were upturned overnight. Harries was moved by the images of women carrying all of their essential belongings as they fled, leaving their homes with their children, not knowing where they were going, their husbands left behind to fight a war.
Harries addresses legacy of the Trump administration and the threat to democracy it has wrought, noting that “It takes one crazy man at a certain point in time to have generated such upheaval.”
Part of that upheaval is the reversal of Rowe v. Wade, which hit Harries hard. As a young woman, she lived in Britain when abortion was illegal and recalls friends forced to undergo dangerous back-alley procedures. The reversal leaves the burden squarely on women.
While the environment is on ongoing theme for Harries, she feels “This work is more personal, less nuanced and more descriptive.” With soaring temperatures, drought, fires, flooding, and threats to agriculture, it is said that by 2050 forty percent of the earth’s population will become climate refugees.
In What She Carries, Harries poses the poignant question: Where will you go and what will you take?