From March 25–April 19, 2019, Texas State Galleries is hosting Strong as an acre of garlic, an immersive installation by artist-designer Bryony Roberts that reflects on the lives of female ranchers in Texas.

Operating in professions that foreground physical strength and endurance, women ranchers are creating complex articulations of femininity and transforming existing conventions related to riding, animal husbandry, and land management. Roberts has gathered extensive research on their practices through interviews, ranch visits, and historical research. Inspired by these observations, Roberts has designed a multifaceted landscape of textiles and wooden structures that reference ranch houses and other support structures. Within, the structures will contain immersive information about the ranchers interviewed and their experiences.

Strong as an acre of garlic grows from Roberts’s previous work, in which she brings attention to overlooked social histories and material cultures through experiential installations and performances. Over the last several years, Roberts has collaborated with African-American marching bands on the exhibition and performance projects We Know How To Order and Marching On, which examine how communities reconfigured military marching band routines to assert rights to public space and collective visibility. Similarly, Strong as an acre of garlic will visualize how female riders and ranchers are altering established conventions to assert their own expressions of identity and professional practice.


STRONG AS AN ACRE OF GARLIC

Forthcoming exhibition by artist Bryony Roberts
Texas State Galleries : San Marcos, TX
Opens March 25, 2019

Strong as an acre of garlic is an immersive installation that reflects on the lives of women ranchers in Texas. Based on the experiences of women running small family-run ranches and larger multi-state companies, the exhibition points to the shifting nature of the cattle industry. Foregrounding the multifaceted expertise required to run a ranch, the project highlights daily processes of navigating global economics, breeding genetics, land management, and veterinary science. Audio interviews with ranchers explore the strength required to run a business, to care for cattle, and to confront gender expectations. Moving beyond stereotypes, this project looks instead at the complex interactions between global and local forces, human and nonhuman beings, and expectations and realities of gender experiences. Roberts has gathered material for the exhibition through interviews, ranch visits, and historical research. Inspired by these observations, Roberts has designed a multifaceted landscape of textiles and wooden structures that reference ranch houses and cattle pens. The structures contain information representing the daily lives of the four women ranchers interviewed for the project: Missy Bonds, Linda Galayda, Kimberly Ratcliff, and Kelley Sullivan.


Texas State Galleries is a contemporary art gallery located in the School of Art and Design at Texas State University. A primary resource for all students and faculty at Texas State University, Texas State Galleries provides direct access to original works of contemporary art.

By making a gift to Texas State Galleries, you will help support programs like Bryony Roberts’s Strong as an acre of garlic. Your generous contribution helps pay for this extraordinary educational resource, and so much more.  Click here to donate today.