Berman Museum

Millie Drury, Broken, 2021. Photographic print. 56 x 13.5 inches.
Millie Drury, Broken, 2021. Photographic print. 56 x 13.5 inches.

Millie Drury

Millie Drury is the winner of the Berman Award for 2021. This award is given by the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art for artistic achievement in the Annual Student Exhibition.

Artist Statement

She knelt on knees cushioned
by a layer of teal chiffon
and clenched tight fingers
on dark fabric.
The photographer stood
on the top of the wash and
peered down through a
warped wide lens.
She stares with red stained lips
and flushed cheeks
and the lipstick paints
a bright jagged line
through a trail of what
her mind sees and feels.
A garbage pile of dirty snow
and discarded demons
is Snow White’s reflection
in the mirror on the wall
that she throws in the dump
with the rest of the refuse
in her mind.

Arms and fingers held together
with puppet strings,
tangled and taut and wound tight
for tiny puppet motions
and closed in puppet thoughts.
She focuses on fingertips
and doesn’t see the
hopeful dangling ropes
in garden greens
royal purples
and pale daffodil yellows.
Stuck in black and white
she stays wrapped in her own
puppet strings
unsure how to escape
and trapped in her own mind.

She dunked her head
into the aquarium
and counted to twenty
like a competition with
the water itself.
But human lungs can only
be held for so long before
they have to inhale the
blue or suffocate and die.
Hands like icebergs –
crevices and hidden layers –
with fingers pointed like guns
beneath peachy silver surfaces.
Her hands cast the red purple
blue shadows
that hold her head down
underneath the water.

She lay at awkward angles
in sand that scratched her porcelain
skin and she can’t help but
stay doll-like still.
An artist stands on a stool
on wobbly ground
like quicksand trying to
swallow up her ideas.
Headless and hopeless
Barbie has to wait around
for someone to twist her doll
limbs back the way they should be
and unbury the rest of her
body from beneath the
sand where her head must be too.

Follow Millie Drury on Instagram @art.bymillie 

Visit Millie Drury’s website