AARON McMULLIN

artist and activist based in the greater St. Louis area

ARTIST STATEMENT
 

Born out of anthropological research conducted in rural India, my artwork centers around cotton; exploring its cultural, political, and economic history as well as how we interact with and relate to it today. This fiber has a dark and violent history, rooted in slavery, colonization, and displacement.

My artwork primarily focuses on telling the story of contemporary cotton farmers in India, while highlighting the disconnect between consumers and farmers. Despite using cotton daily in some form, few of us know about the struggles cotton farmers in India face, often resulting in death by suicide. Through photography and embroidery, I explore the “out of sight, out of mind” nature of capitalism and consumerism.

 

I seek to disrupt unsustainable consumption practices and encourage mindful consumer practices. It is my hope that my work inspires people to find ways to connect more deeply with each other and the land.

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 12.34.15 PM.pn

“Without slavery you have no cotton; without cotton you have no modern industry.”
Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy

BIOGRAPHY
 

Aaron was born and raised by the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, among corn and soybean fields in Godfrey, IL. She attended Sarah Lawrence College, where her passion for finding creative ways to engage in social and environmental justice issues was celebrated and nurtured. She spent her junior year of college studying abroad in Tanzania, India, New Zealand, and Mexico on a program called Rethinking Globalization. It was on this transformative program that she was first introduced to the social and political history of cotton in India, the current struggles of Indian cotton farmers, and how she, a US citizen and someone who wears cotton, is connected to it all. This turned out to be the beginning of a deep exploration that she continues today.

Aaron is dedicated to nurturing collaboration, creativity, compassion, and connection through the exploration of art and community. She is an activist, teaching artist, gardener and healer. Her studio is located in south St. Louis City. She is a first year MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is enjoying the chance to explore and expand her arts practice.

Education

2020 Art & Design MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

2019-2020 Teaching Artist Institute, Regional Arts Commission

2009 Sarah Lawrence College, BA

2007-2008 International Honors Program, Tanzania, India, New Zealand, Mexico

Press

Latest Exhibitions

2019
Art Is Labor
Arcade Contemporary Art Projects,
Webster University Gateway Campus 

Saint Louis, MO

2018

Tracing Threads, Weaving Stories: a retro/intro/pro/spective

Yeyo Arts Gallery
Saint Louis, MO

2015

Cotton: The Fiber of Our Being

Yeyo Arts Gallery

Saint Louis, MO

Get In Touch

Thanks for reaching out!