Using the everyday materials of mending found in domestic life, I explore the many layers of emotional experience related to home, ancestry, and the fragility of existence. Thread and cord are sewn, tied and knotted: they are the tight ropes we all walk, each step composed of mundane and extraordinary moments, containing past influences both known and unknown. The cords must be taut, since one piece is only as strong as its connection to others.

 

I work in series, each with an overarching question at its root. In my series A Temporary Collection of an Ordinary Bloodline my work examined the question: what unknown elements of our family history do we carry with us in our bodies and minds? I explored the blurred parts of family history, mostly lost through time and movement across oceans. The work is a contemplation of ancestry and refuge through the lens of my ordinary bloodline, incorporating small ordinary objects like thread, burnt matches, pieces of cotton, rubber bands--objects so present as to go unnoticed—present in homes around the world and through many eras.

 

My recent work incorporates a participatory aspect, integrating my years of experience in art/museum education and my art practice. In the ongoing 

From Where to Here Project I invite participants of all ages to reflect on their own and their families' journeys to the Bay Area. This project is about creating a space for conversations and reflections about family history within a place of celebration and community. Integral to the events is the opportunity to help create an interactive artwork that includes community voice through their own creative work. 

 

I am inspired by the work of Christian Boltanski, Lee Bontecou, Eva Hesse, Lee Mingwei, Daniel Lind-Ramos and the unbelievable linear abstractions on rocks found at the Grande Riviere Beach in Trinidad. 

 

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© 2015 by Andrea Guskin