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Brittany M. Watkins

2022 State Fellow

Brittany M. Watkins

Recipient Information


Columbia, South Carolina


Mixed Media

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Southern Prize and State Fellowships

Grant Amount


Artist Statement

My art does not fit neatly into a box to be packaged, labeled, and mass-produced; it is something to be experienced and contemplated.

I examine contemporary society through a lens of psycho-analysis by deconstructing everyday objects, actions, and experiences. This work often emerges on-site, composed of found items, mined from the surrounding area. I arrive equipped with only a color and the edge of an idea to learn from each place, situated in time, among its history and present day. The result invites viewers to enter the artwork as if stepping into a painting. This reality is separate from ordinary life and traditional art-viewing.

Domestic imagery (home) serves as a metaphor for the mind, highlighting the social psyche as it relates place to the formation of identity. Emotional tendencies such as insecurity, dependence, and compulsion are present, as comforts of ordinary life, such as the couch or chair are personified. Object placement is crucial to my process, as this action exerts a need for control much like posturing the self in public space. Color is used to heighten mental awareness by evoking an emotional response. Feelings of nostalgia, flashes of past trauma, or a dreamlike state of déjà vu may occur. These installations are temporary; thus, placing attention on the present moment while confronting consumer culture. I implore viewer investigation and imagination to draw one's own conclusions.


Brittany M. Watkins (b.1989, Carrollton, GA) lives and works in Columbia, South Carolina. She earned her BFA from the University of West Georgia and an MFA from Florida State University (2016). Her work has been exhibited in international art fairs, museums, non-profit, and experimental spaces in North America, Iceland, Germany, Estonia, and the Philippines. Recently, this included Art Fair Philippines, 2022. Her site-specific installation “<Accept [(Self) + Elsewhere]” was awarded the Juried Panel Prize in ArtFields 2017 ($25,000), where she later erected a public art installation at TRAX Visual Art Center. Watkins has participated in residencies such as The Vermont Studio Center, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences, and 701 Center for Contemporary Art. She is currently working on a large-scale installation for which she received an individual project grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission; this work will be displayed alongside a new series of paintings at Westobou Gallery in Augusta, GA beginning June 2022. Additionally, her work was selected for a public installation inside of a historic guardhouse in the Olympia and Granby Mill District of Columbia, SC (summer 2022).