I love telling visual stories using bits and pieces of someone’s distant past. The stories behind treasured black and white photos, old letters, ticket stubs, and personal diary pages all play a part in preserving memories for those who wish to keep them. Sometimes memories not our own are just as precious.
The original photos shown on the ancestor page date from 1925 to 1962. I make multiple photocopies of original photographs and personal papers used in each piece of ancestor artwork.
Various methods of transferring the images are used with a variety of papers, media and collage techniques.
Further down the page is “Walnut Street,” (item 16) which shows a group of neighborhood Italian ladies sitting on the front steps, circa 1944. The mere fact that they are all assembled to have their picture taken indicates that it must have been a special occasion. A wedding? Easter Sunday? My Grandmother Rubolino is the one with the cherub face in the center.The porch railing is made of paper covered pasta.
A photo of my Father, circa 1926, at age two or three, shows him sitting with his dog. In those days, very young boys were dressed in feminine clothing. With his head of curls and peter pan collar, he looks like a little girl. I transferred the image to a fragment of his t-shirt (circa 2002) that I dyed in tea, resulting in a sepia toned appearance.
The first two of this series were transferred on delicate Joss paper, which offers a certain fragility, and in doing so makes the artwork all the more priceless.
1957….Miss Grothe’s first grade class, Huntington School, Brockton, Massachusetts. What do you remember about first grade? Richard never spoke. Debbie was daring, Sandra screamed during every firedrill, and John was handsome. To our six year old selves our classmates were one dimensional. I remember them all. My mother saved my papers, and they are part of the artwork.