I first started printing with garments after cleaning out my grandmother’s apartment after she moved. She had dresses of lace, brocade and eyelet. I couldn’t wear her clothes, but the textures were perfect for printmaking. Etching ink is stiff and the shapes, patterns, and small details embossed right into the plate. Clothing became a metaphor for the body.
Crossroads connects the personal with the universal. The rock, paper, and scissors (a symbolic motif I use in other work) passing across the globe connect to the child’s game for resolving conflicts while the dress and the lace background address the domestic arena. In both areas we struggle for patience and understanding. It seems as though people learn nothing from history and repeat the same destructive behavior generation after generation and all around the world. Art is my escape from the turmoil that surrounds us. It is where I can allow hope and optimism to thrive.
– Debra Olin (Somerville, MA)