My work is often of a journalistic, autobiographical nature. Figurative, narrative, symbolic, and metaphorical imagery are combined in two and three dimensional collages where myth and personal reality become interchangeable.

Influences are broad and culturally varied. There is a particular interest in the art of story-telling, and the use of symbols, icons, rituals, traditions/customs, and accompanying lore of world and modern day cultures. How they continue, differ, overlap and blend in time and through globalization intrigues me, stemming from a personal search for my own cultural identity (being the product of a vast cultural mix).

The quest for finding/establishing a multi-cultural identity acknowledges individuality, separateness, and unity. The work explores and narrates personal thoughts, beliefs, and experiences via the collaged two and three-dimensional imagery, which when combined, participates separately and together. The intent is to create parallels and dualities within the over all image. Because of the diaristic nature of the work, the juxtaposing of various narratives aid in distorting precise interpretations, and thereby allowing me to tease the viewer through playing identification games. These are vehicles for which my history, most personal thoughts and experiences can be expressed and documented, giving fragmented yet intimate insights as to who I am.

 Recently, I have become interested in reflecting my passion for old cartoons, toys/robots and odd dolls. I recall as a small child making my first “voodoo doll”, crudely fashioned with a buckeye (chestnut), cotton balls, tacks and scotch tape. One of my greatest past times was when I’d get a dollar for my birthday, I’d buy a roll of pennies, and with a large brown paper bag, I’d march down to the neighborhood grocery store and invest the whole wad into the gumball machines by the check out to acquire a huge assortment of the neat little plastic figures and toys which were encased inside the big glass containers.

 It seems as I get older, my childhood memories become more important, and I perceive these as somewhat of a latent influence in my current work. Naturally, there is still an autobiographical element in the work, which of course incorporates the encrypted aspects I have been using for so long, as well as elements from modern day culture. These figures are all in some way, representative of my personal world, although the viewer need not be in tune to the specifics in order to create their own valid interpretation.

 

Artist Statement 

Kirsten Abrahamson