Wednesday, February 18, 2009

expressive remnants...

While researching Lauren DiCioccio I fell upon the work of Aliza Lelah. Another artist using fiber to create some amazing portraits. Aliza's portraits tend to be very expressive and be arranged in groupings that become wonderfully narrative.

She uses the worn clothing and scraps of her family to re-visit, recreate, and re- imagine her own history.

I like the the purposeful roughness and crudeness to the quilting. It helps to make each person emerge as unique and individual.

She states:

As I sew pieces of fabric together to form their faces and bodies, each portrait is tangible on my lap. A bit of cloth from my dad's dress shirt, a swath from my mother's sewing box and a scrap from a silk pillowcase are joined and a new whole emerges.

Stories unfold, crossing years and relationships across the Middle East and Europe... Though each ancestor came from a different time and place, I imagine my family members in the same mental landscape.

My grandmother as a child stands beside my mother as an adult. A glance meant for someone in my father's family redirected towards someone in my mother's. Reconfiguring their relationships to one another, I dwell on what has been and embrace what is.

The scale and installation are essential to how wonderful the work is. I would love to see an installation in person.

A truly modern way to paint ones family portrait.

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