Secrets and Shadows is a critical component of my decades long series “Silent Voices”. The latter alludes to a variety of social justice issues which include human trafficking, migrants and refugees as well as all situations in which the victims do not have a voice. Of special significance are those events which have a global impact on the lives of women.
Fifty years ago we celebrated when Roe vs. Wade became law. The fear, anxiety and desperation which was ever present in our lives began to dissipate. Just the knowledge that unwanted, or medically necessary abortions were legal and possible was a relief.
In time women came to realize that the law gave us agency over our bodies and by default our professional and private lives. Regrettably social, political and religious forces were still less than supportive.
While legal, abortions were still often a source of shame and so they became our “secrets’ and the knowledge and circumstances “shadowed” far too many women. Lingering in an emotional limbo many women were constantly on the alert of discovery.
The viscous red stain and the patch of fabric on the work are superimposed over embossments of petticoats. Secrets upfront and quiet, white on white Shadows (memories) lingering in the background
Today we are back to square one. fearful, angry and frustrated. The narratives, albeit not always immediately evident, are derived from stories found in the New York Times. In reinterpreting these events my selection of processes and materials often reinforces the disjoint between perception and reality.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Anne Dushanko Dobek (USA) is a native of New Jersey whose multidisciplinary works and installations focus on issues of social justice and the environment. Her formal art education includes a Bachelors degree from Rowan University and a Masters Degree from Pratt institute. A lifelong interest in entomology and scientific practice have influenced Dushanko Dobek’s thematic choices of issues as well as her conceptual rigor.
Critical to her work and practice is collaborative and community involvement both nationally and internationally in diverse settings.
She is a three time recipient of New Jersey Council for the Arts Fellowships and additional funding from Earthwatch, the Puffin Foundation and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The latter has funded her in the arts as well as for her work as a volunteer research assistant with entomologists in Costa Rica.
Dushanko Dobek has exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe including the Gulbenkian Foundation Brussels, Musee Cantonal des Beaux Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, Chashama and the High Museum in Atlanta. Fellowships ( i-Park, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Visual Art, Moulin au Nef and Long Beach Island Foundation) have allowed her to create some of her more ambitious outdoor installations.
Dushanko Dobek’s work is in numerous collections including the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Art and Design, National Museum of American Art, Montclair Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. She is the recipient of the Erena Rae Award for Art and Social Justice the artist serves on the Board of Directors of the Pen and Brush in NYC.
© Anne Dushanko Dobek