TDP Gallery | March 13 – May 30, 2020
Rebecca Zablocki is a CT based mixed media artist and printmaker. She received her BFA from the Hartford Art School in 2014 and since 2017, has been the Artist-in-Residence for the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art & Performance in Willington, CT. Chronic health issues have been a prominent part of her life since childhood and it was only natural for her to channel her experience with illness and the experiences of her loved ones, into her artwork. Initially, this work depicted the human figure in various situations, using expressions of pain and placing the figure in specific settings, associating with objects that play a prominent role in daily life.
These works reinforced a fascination with objects which has always been present in her artwork and personal life. Honing in on the study of objects that hold a strong connection to sickness and pain enabled her to create a whole new chapter within this body of work. Separating the objects from the figure creates a focus on one singular object such as a bed or pillow. This process allowed for in-depth contemplation and study of experiences and the feelings that these objects evoke.
Alternatively, her process brings to mind the juxtaposition of the feelings of others with mental and physical health issues to those whom have not experienced chronic pain and illness. For example, the pillow, an item of comfort and beauty to some, is often adorned with patterned bed sheets and fabrics, or surrounded by a room with four walls, wallpaper or patterned curtains. To others that are sick, in pain, or bedridden, this pillow and the room it lives in may not provide that comfort. The beauty of the item within a bedroom, where you feel trapped, becomes lost. The patterns on the bed sheets or the walls that you stare at, become reminiscent of the monotony of being stuck in one room or in one house, day after day.
The dichotomy in the meaning of these objects, to those with different perspectives, also brings up the awareness of chronic pain and illness in a more general sense. Those that fail to see the negative side present in her work, may not comprehend the mental and physical status of those around them. Chronic illness, autoimmune disease and other ailments are often invisible to those with a foreign perspective and create more problems in daily life than one may think. Rebecca creates monoprints and sculptures in hopes of bringing awareness to various illnesses and those that suffer from them. She also hopes that her work can provide support and comfort to those that are suffering, bringing beauty back to a marginalized few.