Photo Credit: Francesco Capponi at Civitella Ranieri
I make collages, prints, banners, and carved and painted sculptures that record a journey of ideas and memories around the unseen and the unknown, reflecting on time and mortality through facets of my personal history. I juxtapose real tree limbs and vines with arboreal imagery—including renderings of witch hazel and rhubarb leaves—using them as stand-ins for my own presence, and as expressions of the dogged persistence of life.
Processes of pressing and rubbing, cutting and pasting, scraping and gouging are evident throughout the finished images and objects. I often balance instinctive marks against more considered decisions, arriving at a dynamic interplay between the deliberate manipulation of materials and the operation of chance. The heraldic banners, which suggest clothing or birds’ plumage, can be exhibited indoors or outdoors, where they are continually reshaped by the elements.
In my recent “Crow and Sandal” series of works on paper, the recurring motif of the crow acts as a symbolic messenger and metaphorical self-portrait, while the sandal (which in Hinduism represents a realization of the spiritual) functions as a symbol of the infinite. Here, as in other works, the images’ repetition suggests an attempt to examine and suspend their power in time and space.
Nancy Azara, 2020