FREEZE, THAW, BEGIN AGAIN / ZAMRZNI, ODTALI, ZAČNI ZNOVA
In this exhibition, I am exploring ideas of self and identity through mixed media pieces that combine vintage anatomical diagrams, sewing, fragments from a Slovenian-English phrasebook, found objects, and photographs I’ve taken in Lendava during my time in residence here. These images use the body as a metaphor for a larger sense of self and identity, and thus pose questions about the relationship of the mind to the body, the possibility of transformation and healing, ideas of belonging and home, and the ability to locate the self in relation to unfamiliar environments. The exhibition title refers to some images that are frozen inside blocks of ice… the ice will be exhibited, and will slowly melt during the exhibition opening, giving access to the photographs inside. I’m interested in ice as a reference to outside conditions at this time of year, but also as metaphor for larger ideas of internal “thawing” – the sense of solidified ways of being and living melting away, making it possible to become something new.
These works are of a very different style than the photographs I typically create and exhibit, yet relate closely to the kind of collages I frequently create in my sketchbooks in order to generate ideas and explore symbols I later use in photographs in other ways. The residency here gave me the opportunity to take this small-scale mixed media “sketching” and use it as the basis for more finished pieces of art for the first time.
In addition, I also made a series of photographs from Lendava that document the empty spaces where information and signage had formerly been around the town – evidence of where information had been, but no longer is. The images function as abstract compositions created from closely observed and photographed details of Lendava, but also represent my attempt to understand an unfamiliar place, and the difficulties I sometimes encounter when seeking information and explanations in the visual world around me.