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perched on a thread around a spool:
prints and drawings by alexa unser ’08

April 17 - May 31, 2008

untitled print
Untitled, 2007
Sugarlift etching


My artwork explores the cruel ease with which tragedy can enter a life and the challenge of the ensuing battle for hope.  I often use the image of an organic “ribbon” juxtaposed with various found objects or creatures to examine specific events or circumstances from my life.  Ribbons are tied around these objects and creatures to portray the inseparability of these two concepts.

None of the images are rendered from actual life, but rather snatched from memory to ensure that they remain personally intact in their journey from conceptualization to representation.  I sift through caches of experiences and buried memories to create associations that combine within a single work.  Therefore, certain elements exhibit darkness, while others exhibit childlike playfulness.

My work also examines childhood and maturation, examining the ways in which objects or occurrences are viewed and processed from varying perspectives.  I associate tragic elements with childhood and hope with adulthood, making connections through the lens of my own personal history and background.

Each image provides a means to purge the dark and let in the light, but at the same time, my work forces me to oscillate between tragedy and hope, and it illustrates the uncomfortable balance that can occur between them.

- Alexa Unser '08