Artist Statement on "Becoming/Unbecoming" and "Numinous"


Jeanne Ciravolo

The women who raised me crowd into my work as actor, witness and vision. My mixed media acrylic paintings on wrinkled drop cloths, and experimental drawings on textiles, are initiated from narratives of my female relatives. Their stories become works that speak of the body, loss, and resilience. They are informed by art historical representations of women and the relation of gender to power structures, both within domestic relationships and in a larger societal context. I consider my work an examination of the body politic and an ongoing engagement in producing images that speak to the human condition.

In my painting practice I use collage as a formative structure. I create fragments of painted paper, focusing on gesture, color and texture, which I collect, and later, sift through and use to piece an image together. The layers of translucent paper collage function both as a reference to the body, and the formal language of painting. They are membranes — skins, that accrue, to construct or obscure form, or are ripped away leaving traces of their presence. As formal elements of painting they contain completed brushstrokes, a visual syntax that can be located, relocated, then fused to the surface. In developing this painting practice I have come to think of the gestures of collage as a female act of repair (patching) and craft (decoupage).

Kitchen towels interest me as objects that allude to repetitive domestic tasks. They present their history of use as evidenced by stains, tears, and bleach marks, which inform my acts of alteration. Within their marks and patterns I embed fragments of story, through acts of plucking, stitching, inscribing and collaging. As peculiar and altered objects they are relics, held up and presented, for others to see as evidence. They present a partial and idiosyncratic story of raw feeling through flawed stitching. They offer the possibility of redemption through the sharing of stories. 


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