Architectural imagery is most of my work, and those who know me usually know that I use primarily local and regional sources. A lot of these buildings are those I walk or drive past so often I hardly notice them, but my favorites are those I have ties to – places I’ve lived in Albany, the house I grew up in, or the homes of family members.
Sometimes it takes a step back for me to see the bigger picture again. The extent to which viewers recognize place is hit or miss – close family will recognize my grandfather’s house, while a stranger might only have a sense of Albany’s varied architecture, if anything.
I heavily reuse my etched printing plates (so much that the lines in the zinc are wearing down in many) – which means that places that were once clear have been so long and so often reprinted, rearranged, and recycled that it takes time for me to identify them. As the plates wear down physically, there is a metaphorical wearing down and smoothing of the images - a once recognizable façade becomes only an echo or impression of a house, eventually even a symbol or motif.
As much fun as it is for me to play “I Spy” with places I know, I have plans to explore others’ perspectives and experiences. If you have lived in Albany county or one of the surrounding areas, and would like to be a guinea pig of sorts, I’d love to interview you over coffee! I’m looking to interview a wide range of people about places that they previously lived – not just about the home’s appearance, but about the memories and associations with the space. Please contact me if you’re interested!
Artist. Art Teacher. Smallbany Gallery.
© Katherine Chwazik 2020, All Rights Reserved