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SHERRY KWINT-CATTOCHE

HOUSEBOOK STATEMENT

HouseBook is a painting series I have worked on for several years. It serves as vehicle to explore oil paint and the relationship of painting in my life.

Initially, the idea was to cannibalize and reuse large paintings created in the 1980ís and early 1990ís, repainting smaller intimate pieces over the older oil paintings, or on their backs. This appealed to my sense of history, evolution and transformation, also giving a nod to American consumption, and the growing necessity of recycling. The house shape resonated with the idea of earthly planetary home and personal domain, and it is interesting to compose paintings off the usual rectangle.

Life events, Art history, other artists, color my inner dialogue and shape the themes, topics and images that arise in Housebook. Referencing the Book of Hours used in private devotion in the middle ages, Housebook accommodates my versions of daily devotions, religious/spiritual recitations, personal litanies and seasonal observances.

I have explored a range of painting techniques on the pages of Housebook. From encaustic, using wax like an ancient Roman scribe with his unwieldy tablet, to the more contemporary alla prima applications. Mostly, traditional indirect painting techniques are employed because of the lettering with image and my personal affinity for a more meditative painting process.

Originally conceived of as a book of bound house-shaped canvas paintings stitched together, Housebook may never arrive at that destination. Individual pieces/pages or groups/chapters are tacked directly to the wall or mounted on stretched canvas in various arrangements. Sometimes pieces are framed in traditional format. Pages and small chapters have been purchased by others, creating a reconfiguration of the book.

It is still a process.

* The Book of Hours

These volumes from the middle ages combined text, ornamentation and pictorial representations. Hand crafted, individually produced, such Illuminated folios were often commissioned by nobility and wealthy patrons, and designed to their personal requirements and predilections. Religious and relevant to their times, they contained daily devotions and recitations. Lessons, litanies, calendar and seasonal concerns could also be included.

* Language

The Greek word oikos', 'house' is the root for both ecology and ecumenical. Ecology: the biology of relationship between organisms and their environment. Ecumenism: the practice of promoting cooperation, or better understanding between differing religious faiths. Science and religion joined by a word. Science: to know and to separate. To organize and systematize knowledge from observation, study, experimentation. Religion: reverence and binding together. A system of beliefs, practices, ethical values, worship.


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