Tokens and Traces | Jeanne Ciravolo
February 17 - March 18, 2023
My work honors the resilient narratives of my close female relatives. Through physical and psychological acts of construction and repair-- stitching, collage, and print-- their stories materialize gendered experiences of loss and hope.
I create and accumulate fragments of painted paper, which become a lexicon of mark and color to use as collage. I respond to the folds and irregularities of my rough substrate, embedding within it a framework of charcoal line, to adorn and alter with scraps of painted paper and monotype. The collage process is evocative of partially understood experience and the fragmented quality of memory, while the layers of painted paper reference both the body and the formal language of painting. The layers accrue like skin, constructing or obscuring form, or are ripped away, leaving only a trace. In rebuilding the image, the painted paper functions as a poultice or bandage. Through these acts of patching and decoupage, practices associated with woman’s domestic labor and craft, I pursue collage as a female act of repair and re-envisioning.
I often use kitchen towels and other found domestic textiles as substrates to explore the resistance inherent in making do, which connects to female traditions of labor and innovation. Each comes with a history—stains, tears, burns, bleach marks—which informs my alterations. Alluding to illness, failure, aspiration, and fantasy, my interventions combine with the existing traits to locate and magnify the narrative of my female protagonists.
Jeanne Ciravolo is a mixed media artist whose work amplifies female narratives. In 2020 she received the Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists, juried by Ellen Tani, Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. She has been awarded residencies at the Hambidge Center, Kimmel Harding Nelson, the Anderson Center, and Byrdcliffe Guild. Publications of her work include Manifest International Drawing Annual 15, Manifest International Painting Annual 10, and Rejoinder, a publication of the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University, in partnership with the Feminist Art Project. Selected exhibitions include Odetta Gallery, Site:Brooklyn, and LMAK Gallery, in New York; Woman Made Gallery and ARC Gallery in Chicago; Manifest Gallery, and The Butler Institute of American Art, OH; the Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT; Coral Springs Museum, Coral Springs, FL; and AREA Code Art Fair, Boston, MA. The artist is an Assistant Professor in Residence and the Director of the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery at the University of Connecticut.
Stitching, mesh produce bag, thread, and collage on kitchen towel
Mixed Media and collage on drop cloth
Hands to Work
Stitching, paper doily, and collage on kitchen towel
Mixed Media, collage, and reproduction of fragment from Jacques-Louis David’s Oath of the Horatii
Mixed media, birch bark, and block print of Eve from Masaccio’s Expulsion from the garden of Eden on drop cloth
Mixed media and collage on drop cloth
Mixed Media, mesh produce bag, paper doily, and collage on drop cloth
Stitching, upholstery foam, net produce bag, and collage on damaged heirloom doily
Mixed media, collage, and block print of Sheela na gig on drop cloth
Stitching, collage, and block print of Eve from Masaccio’s Expulsion from the Garden of Eden on dishrag
Stitching, bark, hairnet, net produce bag, and collage on doily