December 14, 2006

ecphrasis - Maria Stracke

The stuff I am working on right now is about myself and about the past and about personal past. I feel that all art is a part of the past and apart of the past and that history is always interconnected with what is being made presently. I think that history and historical literature and art is an important influence in what I like to make. I'm not completely sure what is important about history, whether that be an individual history or a collective one but it is constantly being recreated and put into narrative form for a reason. It is impossible to ever know what things were like in the past and maybe that's why it is still prevalent in the present. And I don’t know if it is really important to know what the past was like but I am very curious about it, especially visually. The visual culture of the past is very interesting to me. I'm also interested in bookmaking and in making a flip book out of some of my drawings. Erika gave me this idea and I think it is a good one.

I am working on a painting right now, which may become a series that is a painting of an illustration from a series of books of and about Edgar Allan Poe printed in 1902. I am writing a section of a paper on an Edgar Allan Poe story "Some Words With A Mummy" and because what I am reading always influences what I am drawing or painting I have used this illustration as a starting point for a life project I am working on. I found doing this painting to be a way to explore the written text in a different way. Literature is very connected with my work both literally and more conceptually. I believe one of my greatest influences and what interests me the most is literature. The ties between English and art is critical in what I'm doing and I am always interested in exploring the overlap between two and in figuring out more about the relationship between word and image. As I said before, I am attracted to the actual physical nature of old literature in the form of books as well as the stories they tell. I find ideas in looking at the art that was incorporated in the printing of antique books, such as the sketches that are often included throughout a novel or designs at the beginning of every chapter. Because I feel that bookmaking was more of an art form in the past I enjoy literature from past centuries in a way is deeply imbedded in history. In this way, a book functions like the paintings or drawings that I find influential.

November 8, 2006

Maria Stracke