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Ashlyn Dubanski

Artist Statement

This work deals with the process of healing: exposure and rebuilding, vulnerability and repair. The art explores scarring as records of experience. Scars show a part of oneself that is so dramatically altered that, even after healing, it will never be the same. They suggest a story, evoking curiosity, or remembrance. Often, when telling the story behind the scars, it brings up feelings of vulnerability and exposure. The scars hint at something beneath the surface; more trauma, more healing, more injuries that cannot be seen. Sometimes what is seen on the surface is there because a deeper problem had to be fixed. Scars on scars on scars. If something is broken internally, the outer layer must be damaged to fix the inner. The outer is then forced to bear the mark of the injury, a record that there was something broken inside. Scars are not simply a record of physical injury. If a wound is now a scar, then you have survived it and the scar is the proof. The outside is regenerated, the inside is repaired, and the unseen healing has taken place. Healing on healing on healing. Scars represent more than the rebuilding of tissue. For the one bearing the mark, it may carry a regretted decision, memories of an adventure, or the lessons learned during healing.  They are there because someone cared for the parts that were broken. The repair would not be successful without careful tending of each broken part, from the inside out.

Just as trees show records of experience on their bark; the human body shows signs of experience through scarring. Through tree imagery, the ceramic pieces speak to alteration and disfigurement. They suggest further injury under the surface and speak to ongoing healing. The prints deal with the delicate balance of injury and repair. They were printed directly from the scar on Ashlyn’s back. The various stages and types of suturing echo the feeling of the mending process.   

 

oil pastel and ink drawing
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paper
stitches
title

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Art and Art History Program

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