These first works explore the idea of the family album through the use of old and fairly recent photos re-imagined as small scale paintings on handkerchiefs and other domestic linens like napkins. The images incorporate embroidery and other sewing, recalling the vernacular language of the sampler. Through what has traditionally been seen as women's work, I delve into the psychological landscape of my childhood and the lives of my family members before I was born.

Additionally, in my gallery titled Designs in American Identity, I attempt to visually harmonize various cultures that are present in the United States. In these works I explore the idea of American identities. My plan is to explore different communities through the art and designs of their cultures, to paint those designs in the original, culturally specific colors on one side of a transparent mylar sheet, and to paint at least part of the other side of the sheet in the red, white and blue of the American flag. My aim is to visually show how different ethnic groups bring their own flavor to this country of immigrants. I have begun with designs from the Arabic and Islamic worlds because of the beauty and wealth of the art from those groups. I will also include comments from members of the communities depicted on any subject they choose to discuss related to their feelings around this country and their place in it. I will continue with patterns from my own ethnic group, the African-Americans of West African origin, and later I will add still more cultures.



Trish Townes