I began my career as a painter, making textured surfaces embedded with words and images. Then I moved from the east coast to the west coast. Everything was new, making it impossible to continue creating the same work. The current work, threaded with the same sensibilities and themes, is the progeny of the previous. Yet printing an image or building a sculpture is not enough. Stitching and hand-wrought finishing are what makes a piece feel complete and are, no doubt, vestiges of my painterly past.
The symbiosis between image and word, a waltz where one begets the next, is undeniably part of my penchant for books, yet also is the fuel of my practice. Concerned with our individual identities as the world becomes more homogenized, I am interested in encapsulated moments (sculpture), singular stories (photographs) and sequences of information (artists’ books) that italicize the humanity of the individual and draw attention to simultaneously esoteric and universal experiences.
SCULPTURE Language is a function of humanity and a way to preserve it. Using discarded books, text and image are the raw materials for these constructive sculptures. Printed words are thoughts made visible and symbolize our state of endless information: emails, texts and posts that commingle into a scrim of silent sound.
PHOTOGRAPHS Like Medieval and Renaissance stained glass windows, these photos are stories made visual and are intended to create a distinct yet universal, sequestered moment of consideration. They are made from photographs taken of found images (often from old books) and live photos, composited into a singular narrative. Needle and thread are applied to the surface as sewing and stitching are equated to mending: each tiny stitch made from a delicate thread amasses into a greater and stronger whole.
ARTISTS' BOOKS A physical book is a tactile sequence of information; it is tangible and reliable. A title or a book’s concept will spark a new story that I (re-)create as a series of photographic images whose sequence and context are maintained by the object of the book itself. This new content is hand-bound into the original covers, bridging a span of then and now. Images are then recreated, larger and individually, and experienced outside the constructs of the book where they can exist as single statements.
content copyright 2016 Lisa Occhipinti/all rights reserved