Love Letters - Katherine Mansfield to Princess Bibesco, Mar 1921 Collage by Cynthia Grow

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Art Description

Collage: Book, Acrylic, Graphite, Paint on Paper, Other.

Mixed-media. Acrylic and Graphite on Book.

Edited collection of love letters written by historical figures and famous lovers throughout the ages. The phrases of the hand-written pieces correspond to loving, passionate, sometimes humorous excerpts from each letter, the text partially obscured by paint ground.

​Certainly, this work is about human emotion. The spectrum from love to hate, or indifference rather, and all the messiness in-between. While these pieces may be simple in execution, the concept runs deeper. I take much time pondering, searching for just the right phrase. It must resonate with me. If not initially, then after I obliterate the text. The words often find me.

​The idea of covering the text is twofold: First, that these are private letters. Secret, intimate thoughts intended only for two, and their eyes alone. Secondly, the hidden words act as a metaphor for the things unspoken that exist in us all.

​The paint forms a ground from which I tease out words. As the paint dries, the obscured words begin to rise to the surface. I purposely scribble, giving the work a dashed-off quality, another metaphor for emotion. For me, anything "too perfect," too calligraphic would just be robotic and negate the feeling. Beauty in imperfection. The paintings subvert and transform language, creating a new form. The pieces become a palimpsest of sorts.

​Presence of Absence. Mystery. Silence. In both art and in life, I find what is hidden or obscured more compelling than the overt. I believe that hiding part of the world is inherent to the act of showing the world. For this reason, I prefer to leave ambiguity in my work, regardless the medium. Similar to the poet's sense of reduced language to communicate, creating mood and meaning where there may be no obvious story. Posing a question minus the answer, I offer the viewer to become an important determiner of meaning; allowing space to experience his own feeling, to arrive at his own conclusion.



Love Letters - Katherine Mansfield to Princess Bibesco, Mar 1921

Cynthia Grow


Size: 12 W x 9 H x 0.1 in

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