When artists Krysia Kolodziej and Libby Ramage met in the early 1990s, Krysia was editing for Princeton University Press and writing poetry; Libby was starting her work teaching art to very young children while making and exhibiting her own art. Both inveterate savers of ephemera, they have been supporting each other’s art-making ever since.
Libby’s mixed media pieces–with painting and drawing using acrylics and charcoal–were created from a scrapbook originally compiled by her stepfather’s mother, Hilda, a formidable woman who reigned over her family imperiously. Hilda saved everything from her once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe in 1957, hence the “aBroad” portion of the show’s title. Libby rescued the scrapbook from the landfill and has been mining these materials for the past eight years, weaving one woman’s experience and the nostalgia of memories with another woman’s, the artist’s, sensibilities and creativity.
Krysia’s work, the “Domestic” in our title, uses domestic imagery (vintage fabrics, women’s jewelry, wrist watches, postage stamps, dressmaker’s patterns, zippers and buttons, thread, even the pieces of a broken-down piano) and techniques (sewing, for example) combined with mixed media techniques and collage to create visual poems. These reference the hours of unpaid labor of women not in the paid workforce–but for whom the home was/is the workplace–or that same labor expended after completing a full-time job. Items from the traditionally male domain are also present: pieces of wood, nuts and bolts, and/or electronic bits, all from Krysia’s late father’s workbench.
“We have each preserved pieces of the past that spoke to us and remade them into expressions of our lives now, where all the pieces fit perfectly together.”
[caption id="attachment_28716" align="aligncenter" width="574"] Krysia Kolodziej Be Prepared