Blog: Content and Concept

Christine Alfery

Posted on August 10 2021

Blog: Content and Concept

Featured image: Roots Transformed

I created a work during the Northwoods Art Tour called “Roots Transformed.” I chose that title because I had in mind that I would enter it in an exhibition at the Center For the Visual Arts with the same title. The piece I had originally planned on entering, “Grandmothers Shawl” sold as did "The Creative." “Roots Transformed” also sold during the tour. The patron who purchased it asked that I send her the story behind the work. Here is the story.

The concept behind this work was history. The strong complicated content of it was/is about our foundations, our roots and our histories that are always with us. We cannot erase them; we cannot destroy them. They are part of what makes us authentic and unique as individuals.

In the work I have leaves and branches of a tree growing from the “rugged individual's” head. In my writings I frequently talk about how unique, authentic individuals need to think about what has made them who they are. One must consider both positive and negative because we learn from both. Then, in present time they remix our histories, not destroy them, which enables our history to move forward and change.

When we think, we connect our thoughts to our experiences. Our experiences are our histories. My intent for the artwork was to illustrate visually how destructive it would be for the wellbeing of our authentic selves to destroy and forget, to try and erase our histories. How destructive it would be to not learn from our mistakes and believe that utopian experiences exist.

We learn from both our good and bad experiences. To destroy that history in hope of starting fresh is impossible. They are us and they help us to be creative and to be our authentic selves.

The concept in this work is history. It is all about how our histories help us be our authentic selves. We can be bitter because we do not like our history, or we can learn from our history and move on and remix the present. Remixing the present is how I create art. I take my experiences, past and present, and mix them together to create, hopefully, an authentic artwork that has learned from my past experiences, has grown and is creating new experiences with this remix.

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