Minor Prophets: a collection of works by Tara Lancaster that focus on notions of Southern identity and the stories we construct to make sense of our place in history.
In every culture of storytelling, in myth and in tall tales, lie pieces of truth more honest than one might expect. When you really listen to the stories that cultures construct, you find that they reveal the inner world of how societies think and feel. What they fear and what they hope for; how they desire to be perceived -- These things become solidified through repeated storytelling.
The American South is no exception, and especially, I would argue that storytelling is integral to the way that The South perceives itself and how it chooses to present itself to the larger culture. In a time when traditions overturn quickly and old icons easily lose their sway over new generations, how does a culture so entrenched in permanence continue on? Are there things worth preserving? Or do we allow some things to be lost in order to receive “new wine.”
Having grown up in North Carolina, the giant catfish embodies this idea the most to me. Most people who have spent any real amount of time around fishing culture in North Carolina know that catfish can keep growing as long as they keep living. And as it so happens, catfish can live an especially long time. All over the South, wherever particularly deep lakes exist, a certain tall tale persists.
Inevitably you will always knows someone who has an “uncle” who is a scuba diver. And in every story, this scuba-diving uncle ends up exploring the bottom of this particularly deep crater lake, where he comes face-to-face with “eyes the size of dinner plates.” This mythical ancient catfish has lingered over generations in the imagination of those small towns lucky enough to hear the tale.
So what does this story really tell us? Does it tell us that in all of the dark depths of the unknown lie ancient and overwhelming truths? Or does it tell us that some things simply never die?
“Minor Prophets” is my way of processing these stories along with the questions that they bring. If we as a culture, are going to experience any identity crisis, may it be one that we sit down and work through as receivers and as participants. But most importantly, may we work through it as storytellers presenting always the image of what we can become.
“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” - Flannery O’Connor
Delurk Collective season of thanks begins
The Delurk Collective is grateful to be completing our 6th year at 207 West 6th Street and we are changing things up a bit so don’t wait to see what we are cooking up for the Holidays… we have already decked the walls with a carefully curated members area and we are officially welcoming new artists to the collective to expand our offerings. If you don’t see what you are looking for, please ask the artist on duty.
Returning Founding member:
Cindy Taplin is back!
Welcoming “At Large” Members
Madalyn Wofford - Asheville, NC
Page Turner - Roanoke, VA
Rachel VanHoy - Brooklyn, NY
Zephren Turner - Roanoke, VA