In Oklahoma where I grew up, toward the end of my time residing there, my family lived in a house that was in the middle of nowhere. It sat atop a quarter mile long hill surrounded by 80 acres of wilderness. While I lived there, I encountered the native wildlife often in my day to day that existed in and surrounding that house and now live in my mind.
Throughout my life, I have always been an isolated person who would tend to live inside of my own head and for the most part internalized almost everything to the point of insanity. My mental health has been something that has been invalidated throughout my life and learning to cope alone is something I have always struggled with.
Stemming from my biggest fear that I’ve had since I was very young, death, my work often incorporates my thoughts associated with this fear and combines it with elements from my family life as well as experiences I had in my youth. With an interest in the supernatural, I also incorporate my fear of death with the stories told to me by my grandmother and father that have influenced me.
In my work, I aim to combine the flora and fauna I was surrounded by at the home I last lived in in Oklahoma and juxtapose it with my navigation through my mental health and the sense of trauma I had felt while living there. As I weed through my memories, my work serves as a sense of catharsis for me as I investigate my relationship with my past that has been closely and negatively intertwined with my mental health while I finally begin to express what I’ve kept inside.
While at the University of Colorado Boulder, Audra has participated in a variety of print exchanges as well as group and solo exhibitions such as Melanie Yazzie’s group exchange, “Reflecting on 2020: International Print Exchange” as well as Tara Segars and Boyce Bivens zine exchange, “Kent State United Print Alliance Zine Exchange”.
Audra Smith is currently a BFA candidate in Printmaking at the University of Colorado Boulder with a Minor in Art History. She was raised in rural Oklahoma and now currently resides in Colorado. While living in Oklahoma, Audra grew up in an isolated location both physically and culturally. Surrounded by 80 acres, she would encounter a variety of flora and fauna that she now incorporates into her work. Using the wildlife as symbols, Audra reflects on her past as well as her familial history to create pieces rich with personal narrative often using her body and memories as vehicles. With an interest in the supernatural, Audra also often incorporates elements of fear derived from her personal fear of death.