The first thing I wanted to be as a child was an archaeologist. The process of methodically digging through layers of earth, in lands known and unknown, searching for clues to reveal truths about people and the stories of their lives, captivated me.
A person is an infinite locus of overlapping stories forever forming the current version of their identity. We are each an amalgamation of our personal histories, of the things that are imposed upon us and the things we choose. My concerns lie in discovering how we each get to our present state. I dig through layers to find the story that reflects what shaped a life's course. My curiosity never wanes and I am endlessly astonished, beguiled and ignited by what I discover.
The media are words and images; the work explores identity through memory, emotion and observance. I often excavate my own biography for a starting point to locate personas that intrigue me: people I know, meet or read about, living or historical.
I create photographs from live photos I shoot and composite them with photographs shot of found images. These are printed then hand-embroidered with pattern, resulting in bespoke objects that merge technology with the handmade.
Photographs are also created for hand-bound artist books made from old hardbacks. The object of the book allows for visual sequence as well as an intimate viewing experience. These photographs are then produced as limited edition prints.
Written communication, an agent of the human condition, allows us to build collective identities. Using discarded books, I construct sculptures--artifacts of language--that harness text and the object of the book, bringing attention to their powerful quietude.
All of the work, whether narrative or objective, invites the viewer to connect by finding something to recognize outside of themselves that they can identify with, thus limning a line and activating the process of identity.
content copyright 2014-15 Lisa Occhipinti/all rights reserved