Nightingales and Bombers: Reframing the Sacred and Profane

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I received a FRACAA in 2016 to support research and development of a new body of artwork that uniquely combines low-relief sculptural elements with charcoal, gold leaf and ink drawings on cradled gessoed panels. This new work joins together complex layers of imagery and sculptural shapes I completed the visual research n 2016 in Spain and London, England, documenting Spanish retablos and altars as well as World War II bomb sites that bore relation to specific locales noted in my grandfather's war journals. My mother was seven years old and living in London when the war began in 1939. By 1940, she spent most of her days in bomb shelters - a makeshift underground classroom on the west side of London. Her recollection of these years included disparate details: being issued a gas mask; clambering underneath her school desk when air-raid sirens sounded; cracked porcelain toilets lining the streets after intense bombing; fond memories of a family rabbit named Bambi; VE Day celebrations; and songs she sang during her underground schooling. Much like the dichotomy of the epic and mundane found in my step-grandfather's journals, I am moved by the powerful and unlikely combination of images of war with pet rabbits and songs like "This Old Man" {"Knick-Knack Paddy-Whack").

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