Art Awakens Memories

Travel can be limited these days. Thankfully, art awakens memories. My latest monoprint collage series considers reflecting memories. I use a matrix that evokes the shape of skyscraper buildings with numerous windows to create artwork that encourages memory of other places and times.

Vertical monoprint collage reflections skyscraper building pinks blush sunrise cyanotype vintage maps Elizabeth Busey 24 x 18 inch
After the Torrent. Monoprint collage with cyanotypes. 24 x 18 in.

The role of windows

My obsession with reflection started early. As a child, I would visit the National Art Museum in Washington, D.C. to see the work of American photorealism painter, Richard Estes. I marveled at all of the facets of life he could capture in one view. During the 1970s, the District did not have tall glass buildings. Reflections were limited to the Reflecting Pool. (Remember that amazing scene from Forrest Gump?)

glass office building Washington DC reflects nature other buildings
A glass block office building in Washington, DC reflects nature outside.

Now that I am an adult, the tallest building in the place I live has few windows and stands only six stories. When I visit cities — New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Barcelona — I am always looking for glass buildings and what they reflect. This usually means I am blocking the sidewalk trying to get just the right photographic image.

Light cloaks what is inside

The searing June sun in Barcelona created some of the most memorable reflections. Old buildings appeared rippled in new glass bricks, where the occupants are enrobed privately in air conditioning. In this strange time of pandemic, I am reminded that people live in these vast buildings, and often feel separated from the nature that is outside.

glass building Barcelona Spain reflecting older apartments church hot summer
Old apartment building and historic church are reflected a glass block on a hot June evening.

Reflections allow you to think about other times, in the past or in the future. On of my all time favorite linocuts uses reflection to talk about hope, something I truly crave right now.

Vertical monoprint collage reflections skyscraper building yellow-green sunrise blue-green cyanotype vintage maps Elizabeth Busey 24 x 18 inch
Be Led Back in Peace. Monoprint collage, 24 x 18 in.

Learn more about my fascination with glass building in this post.

What stories do you tell about what is inside, and what is reflected? Where do you find hope?

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