textual portaits

This selection of works on paper started as a personal search for a sense of place. It represents a desire to locate myself in a historical context and better understand ideas about womanhood as they currently exist in my community. Each work presented was inspired by an encounter, either brief or prolonged, with an individual woman. These encounters provided a connection to text related to the social and historical context of the sitter’s concerns or persona. The texts originate mainly from the United States and address various facets of women’s rights. You will find the reference to both the sitter name and the author of the text in the title of the work: Sitter (Text Author, Text Date).

The large format works were created with hand stamped oil-based ink and stenciled graphite. I used a variety of commercial and handmade alphabet stamps and stencils to build the value scales. The more intimately scaled works were created with a manual typewriter. I find interest in using the typewriter, an early tool of the secretary, to craft images with these texts about women. Since the typewriter’s origins as a tool to print manuscripts in the late 1800s, people have used it to create works of art. I hope my works add something unique to the tradition of text-based imagery and offer viewers a technique that elicits visual amusement as well as personal contemplation.