Transformations are a series of mixed media pieces that reflect changes in my life, the cycle of life, and the growth of my family. Through layers of painting, drawing, collage, printmaking and assemblage, these pieces explore my emotions about transformations in my life, such as settling down after traveling, to make a home and a family. Transformations also refer to the cycle of life and how I lost my father in the same month that I became pregnant with my son. Finally, it expresses my emotions about being pregnant, giving birth and watching my children grow.

The exhibit includes several Buddhas, inspired by my travels to Hong Kong, Japan and Indonesia. The maps used in two of the assemblages symbolize my travels, juxtaposed with symbols for my desire to settle down. Biological Clock, done before I met my husband, uses clock parts, bird’s eggs, windows, and a white picket fence to represent this shift. Nesting, created right before my wedding, uses the map again but only on the outside of the box. It has windows to look into the box and an open door to symbolize being open to building a home. The rocks inside are cradled in an actual bird’s nest. At the same time as creating Nesting, I also created Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li, which translates to “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” Buried under the tree are the words from our ketubah, a Jewish wedding contract.

The third and most recent assemblage, Contained By My Accumulation, expresses how I often feel overwhelmed by being a wife and mother, working, as well as taking care of a home. The cabinets open to reveal a sink filled with dirty dishes, and a laundry basket overflowing with dirty laundry. The two compartments crammed with toys represent each of my children. The objects in the attic symbolize things that I no longer have time to do, like reading and traveling. In the center of the house covered with cracked paint, a doll seems contained by all the clutter and decay.

The Will To Live was an installation that I did about my father’s battle with diabetes. The imagery references his legs being amputated, as well as the heart and kidney disease that are complications of diabetes. Soon after my wedding, my father passed away. In Remembering, I recently revisited this theme and created a collage using the side panels from the installation. By ripping them up and reassembling them to create a new composition, I tried to make new connections between the parts of this piece. In the process, it brought back a lot of raw emotions that I had felt in the last few years of my father’s life.

Sacred Circles is a piece about the symbolism of the circle. Native Amerian symbolism says, “Birds make their nests in circles… The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always coming back again to where they were. The life of a man or a woman is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.” This piece includes many circular images related to themes from my previous work such as clocks, fetuses, and bird’s nests. Some of the circles also reference my travels and interest in world religions, such as the Buddhist wheel of life.

The exhibit journals what has happened in my life through a variety of media. The process of creating the work has helped me deal with my emotions about the transformations in my life.