Jeanne Ciravolo

Class of 2019


The women who raised me crowd into my work as actor, witness and vision.  Their stories, transformed, become works that speak of pain, loss and hope. My work, initiated from personal histories, is informed by art historical representations of women and the relation of gender to power structures in domestic and societal contexts. Collage provides an indirect method to construct images while also offering unforeseen directions through process. The layers of translucent paper collage function both as a reference to the body, and the formal language of painting. They are membranes — skins, that accrue, to construct or obscure form, or are ripped away leaving traces of their presence. As formal elements they contain completed brushstrokes, single or grouped, a visual syntax that can be located, relocated, then fused to the surface. The gestures of collage relate to a female act of repair (patching) and craft (decoupage).

Kitchen towels interest me as objects that allude to repetitive domestic tasks and provide a location for fragments of narrative. They present their history of use as evidenced by stains, tears, and bleach marks, which inform my acts of alteration.  As peculiar and altered objects they are relics, held up and presented, for others to see as evidence. They invoke shame, illness, repair, over-heated emotions, failure, and the possibility of redemption through the sharing of stories. They present a partial and idiosyncratic story of raw feeling through flawed stitching.