Alison Safford
Peer
2012
mixed media
each unit 9 x 5 x 11"
Statement for Peer

“History is written by the victors.” (attributed to Churchill)

This quote speaks to war and politics, but unfortunately also to our cultures and who gets to speak to our experiences. With the honoring of the centennial of collage, I couldn’t help but to think of women who experimented with what may be recognized as collage in retrospect, but excluded from this history.

The spheres are based on 18th century lacemakers condensers, meant to focus the light of a candle’s light on the lace maker’s work, the work of women. Here, the light is focused on Victorian collages made by upper class women from calling cards, photographs, and watercolors, all abundant in the realms of these women. These works were all created by combining images on paper with glue. Even before these were quilts. While no glue was involved, the piecing together of scraps of leftover cloth-making use of discarded or insignificant materials, speaks to the same impulses that led Picasso and Braque to their making.

The acts of comparing,
fitting,
discarding,
retrying,
discovering,
borrowing,
attaching,
detaching,
examining,
creating…

where did they start? What gets counted? What gets left behind, and how do we see that which is unwritten?
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