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Ellen Heck
North Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2016

My work is a study of identity - its creation, variability, persistence, and change. I am a printmaker, often using multiple print processes to underscore this theme in physical ways. Current prints, created in North Carolina, include a series of portraits in which the sitters are wearing Möbius strips and other mathematical or paradoxical figures as hats. Reminiscent of fascinators, these forms could only be worn and held convincingly in the two-dimensional world of the print, though the surrealism is not immediately apparent. Combinations of woodcut, drypoint on copper, and hand painting, the flatness of the figures contrasts with the dimensionality of their headpieces. A narrative begins to open up between the adorned female figures and the Möbius - a physical manifestation of abstract or invisible concerns. Themes that arise include recurrent and paradoxical thinking, the age of reason, communication, femininity, and the choices we make that define identity and our own realities.

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