i’m jealous of evie woltil richner

I absolutely love this series by American artist Evie Woltil Richner. Feathery, delicate drawings lovingly applied to old, family photos – memorializing those who are no longer with us. I would try to explain further, but Evie’s words are so much more powerful:

“…Each of these pieces is a burial, but also a memorial. Working from photographs of deceased relatives, I am physically burying them in a shroud of drawn feathers. Through burial, we acknowledge loss. The person is removed from our lives.
My Grammy, as I always called her, moved in with us when I was in elementary school. She had Alzheimer’s disease and we took care of her. Over time, I could see her memory disappearing. She would forget who people were and repeat the same stories and phrases over and over. She lives now only in my memory and in the memories of those who knew her, but my memories are wispy, like bits of dreams a few hours after you’ve had them. Some of the memories are barely there. I can see only a sliver of them. Afraid of the erosion of my own memory, my creations are also an act of remembrance – remembering my Grammy as she was when she lived with us, and also reconstructing who she might have been before I knew her. Through the ritual of drawing over images of her, I return to thoughts of her again and again.
When finished, the pieces become a signifier, like a gravestone, of a person who once was, and just as gravestones serve to connect us with a loved one after they’ve passed, these pieces are a physical connection I have to her. The feathers specifically reference the cross-cultural symbolism of the bird as a connection between heaven and earth.”

Beautifully said… and beautifully executed.

comments (13)

  1. Darby Delane /// 01.09.2013 /// 2:07pm

    Wow – what a fantastic way of naming this un-named through the feathered shrouds in that place between being in a dream and waking up – the veil. I am so thrilled these are being shared.

  2. Klara Kamilla /// 01.09.2013 /// 3:09pm

    Wow… these are so beautiful and haunting! Thanks for sharing!

  3. the jealous curator /// 01.09.2013 /// 6:56pm

    aren’t they?! happy you like them!

  4. AM /// 01.09.2013 /// 8:03pm

    These are depressing and fascinating. I enjoy them, but it feels like we are somehow seeing something we shouldn’t–as if the shrouded people show up on film but were not there when the photo was taken….

  5. the jealous curator /// 01.09.2013 /// 9:03pm

    they’re disturbing, aren’t they? that’s why i included evie’s artist statement… i thought she did a beautiful job visually executed her thoughts about her grandmother, and ultimately her passing.

  6. Zia Daugherty /// 01.10.2013 /// 1:49pm

    So haunting and yet beautiful! The third one is my favorite. Great work…

  7. the jealous curator /// 01.10.2013 /// 5:32pm

    i know – i love them too. i think #1 is my favorite.

  8. Alisha Erin /// 01.10.2013 /// 4:00pm

    I’m so glad you’ve been including artists’ writing lately. Or at least it seems like you’ve been including more and more in your posts. Keep up the good work!

  9. the jealous curator /// 01.10.2013 /// 5:31pm

    oh thanks – that’s good feedback. i usually just link to the artist’s site so that if you want to read more you can.. but perhaps i should include their statements more often.. ?

  10. annton /// 01.12.2013 /// 3:57am

    you’re killing me with your finds. another one, that blows me away!

  11. the jealous curator /// 01.12.2013 /// 8:36am

    ha! i hear you… this one blows me away too! <3

  12. heathernoye /// 01.15.2013 /// 10:20am

    These are just amazing! I’m in love!

  13. Conrad Crespin /// 01.23.2013 /// 12:26am

    These are really nice…& the artist statement adds another dimension.

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