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  • Writer's pictureKaren Lembo

Me, Age 6 (2023)

Updated: Mar 1

During the pandemic, I began to experiment with monoprinting, layering, mixed media and collage, eventually leading to several of the pieces I've created in the past two years. This experimentation also left me with a pile of scraps and bits and pieces I didn't know what to do with, until I was thinking about a recent call for entries for an upcoming show called "Memories."

Suddenly I was drawn back to the central image here, of me, age 6. As I held it against some of the other bits and pieces I'd collected, I began to realize that mixed media and collage are very similar to the journey I've personally been traveling over the past few years, working through various emotions and memories, turning them over and about in my head to make sense of things. This process has also been central to my larger mixed media pieces, but this one is smaller, only 8x10" and not for sale, just for me.

Here is the statement I submitted with this image for the upcoming show:

Working through stressful or emotional circumstances can be mentally taxing and can also bring forward painful memories we’d like to forget. But the journey of understanding can also be a transformative process, bringing us into contact with parts of ourselves we may have inadvertently forgotten or left behind. This piece reflects the more positive side of the journey, and, with God’s help, my learning to care for myself after caring for others for such a long time. Mixed media is the ideal medium to represent the disparate bits and pieces we pick up along the way, the process of trying to fit them together, and the celebration of the new creation that emerges.

It has been very freeing to also create something more personal and outside the scope of my normal work. I hope to continue working in this vein and I'll be sure to continue sharing the stories behind the work so you can enjoy the journey with me!

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