This body of work explores the notions of permanence/impermanence, materials/memories, and deterioration/resurrection. Material remains gleaned from cupboards, drawers and memory. This work embodies these vestiges, selected material survivors, from events, some of great importance in their time, others with little import. The materials and their memory DNA exist in this work side by side, overlapped, intertwined, and preserved. The leavings, remnants, ashes, wreckage, bones, DNA, physical evidence that continues on in their existence in various stages of recognition, disconnected from their original purposes. The materials that have been excavated are the remains of things that are no longer in use, threads from a child's blanket, well-worn favorite t-shirts, photos, rubbings, book pages, charred 4th of July sparklers, letters sent from a war, marriage and birth certificates, all physical reminders preserved. Items that are the survivors of stories and places, some buried, some found and buried again this time in plaster, gesso or hidden in the wrapped cloth of another survivor. These are the physical vestiges gleaned to be reimagined in sculptural form referencing the artist as a child growing up with a prisoner of war.

Growing up in a railroad apt where one room was a pathway to another room, finding a private place was a challenge. Every loose floorboard and tile a hidden space to harbor scribbled secrets and drawings. Knowing that they existed where others walked unaware of their existence, bestowed a power in a child’s world where there is none. Hiding objects in plaster, wood or twine remains a way to commit an act of creation as well as sharing the discovery.

 © Carol Oster 2020 

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