At German and Polk: An Artist's Autobiography
Ricke, Lauren E.
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As a printmaker and conceptual artist I work within notions of autobiography to move swiftly between the perspectives of my child-self and that of my current-self. My artwork is heavily process oriented allowing these shifts in perspective to become opportunities for my own growth and reflection as I work and rework the metal plates. I see my history presented in a visual language while exploring formal print techniques such as intaglio, chine-collé, and multiple plate color processes in a style after Mary Cassatt. In printmaking there is a unique opportunity to study states of an image from beginning to end, each mark that is added, covered, or burnished away in the metal changes the state of the plate and so alters its history. In my work I explore orders of experience and practice revisions of presentation. I gather the visual and emotional information from my childhood perspective that seems most connected with my adult ways of seeing. I have explored from memory and the tales of a local storyteller, and then revisited original recorded versions, carried storybooks that I had as a child and reconsidered them in terms of their aesthetic sensibilities: of color and line paired with narrative. Most recurrently I have reflected on my mother’s homes and their organized palettes, creating a series of prints referencing the spaces that are seared in my mind. Considering the work of other artists and individuals that are part of my experience I feel motivated to accept the fact that my history belongs to all that have formed it, and it exists in a series of states. I believe that my future, too, will be heavily influenced, then realized, through expressions of self and perspective. So in each act of expression there is opportunity for realization, and out of realization an actualized concept to hold close or move away from. Through expressing my past and current perspectives in print I hope to know myself more immediately in order to participate meaningfully in community dialogue, and from self-reflection/realization find motivations to grow and change.