Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Think about it

© Think About It
mixed-media collage by Sara Pearce

 recycled wrapping paper, paper samples, stencil;
handmade paper; antique medical illustrations;
ink; archival glue; mounted on foam-core board
16.25" x 24.75"

In the spring, I was invited to create a piece for a fall exhibition at the YWCA of Cincinnati's Women's Art Gallery that will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement (it opens Friday Oct. 4).

What better day to post the final collage than today - the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, when The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently spoke about his dream, a dream that should be everyone's.

At first, I wasn't sure whether to be celebratory of the progress made or critical of the progress yet to be made. Then, I landed on an idea that came from my work with old books, and the saying "you can't judge a book by its cover."

Using duplicates of antique medical books, I would cover one with a collaged black cover, the other with a white one. When a viewer opened the covers they would see that both were the same inside. Inside, the plan was to carve out a well in each, and fill it with the anatomical illustrations from the books, trying to make them identical.

After mulling it over for, well, months, another idea emerged. It was based partly on the original one, but more strident, more protest inspired, and a little less like my normal work. Here it is as it evolved ... the last image shows the back of the collage with its recycled wallpaper, wrapping paper, etc. fully revealed.

As I say in my artist's statement:
"My hope is that after the initial glance at the collage, viewers will look more closely, more deeply - past the peeling skin of the surface and into the cut-out letters. Just as we should look more deeply at each other." 


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