Eyes Shut - Antonietta Covino-Beehre
'The world is large, but in us it is as deep as the sea.’
Rainer Maria Rilke (Austrian poet)
‘To make people free is the aim of art, therefore art for me is the science of freedom.’
Joseph Beuys (German Artist)
A selection on works printed from photo etched plates and photopolymer plates (Printed on rag paper 600gsm).
In ‘Eyes Shut’ a collection of etchings are presented embodying a feeling of longing. The images seek to expose our hidden interactions and the parts of us that slip between the folds of history and imagination. I have revisited the themes of the portrait and the body in these works, showing a thematic continuation, via an aesthetic deviation, from my past projects, such as Faccia a Faccia / Face to Face Wall Series, spanning some twenty years of artistic practice.
‘Eyes Shut’ describes a state of being where preconceptions are attached to everything we think and see in our everyday lives.
The minute we stop and use our senses to view and experience what is really around us, we are faced with a new revelation.I describe this experience as ‘a quiet kind of surprise, one that enlightens us a little from our earlier perceptions and which enables us to enter a realm of discussion’. The work itself acts to enable these revelations and discussions, becoming an interactive experience, rather than a passive encounter.
Produced as Intaglio-etchings, I confesses that the focus of this collection is not on the technique, but on how the medium can be used as a form of expression.
In the work, I take familiar faces and juxtapose them in different scales. Through their familiarity, the images can be read a portraits of the self, the community and of humanity at large. The meanings of these kaleidoscopic portraits are elusive and multilayered, revealing but a fragment of the complex whole.
The flower rose motif is repeated in the collection and acts as a symbol for the survival of these individual fragments. A Flowers own ability to claim a space for itself in the environment, acts to inspire the subject in the portraits and the viewers of the work. The flower is also a timeless symbol of a truth that is mysteriously and wordlessly conveyed. Its scent is its vehicle of communication and the message it sends is to open one’s eyes and to become conscious of one’s subconscious perspectives.