Mare Dianora

Cutting Grandpa’s Hair
photography and text
12 x 10 in.

My art investigates the nature of relationship – to home, to objects, to place, to history, to family and community. I am concerned with how we capture a moment and the ways in which memory is held. Relationships are nurtured with sharing and interacting. I am intrigued by the way we interact with and within the spaces we inhabit and how these spaces affect our view of the world at large. The correspondence practice is beautiful because the ephemeral nature of the exchange can not be documented or recorded. I work with book arts, mail arts, and ceramics, found objects and other media as appropriate to the project. I often experiment in new ways to tell a story or create something that appeals to a different sense. Because of the intimate and changing nature of home, there is an intersection between my practice concerning home, my correspondence and books.

Book making has become an essential focus of my practice. By nature, I am a collector and I love to gather information and stories. Often I create my books after I process what has been shared with me. I find the common ground between this shared information and my own feelings or experiences. A book is an object that everyone knows how to interact with. My books are small and I always use materials that are pleasing to the touch. There is an intimate space that is created between the book and the viewer and I feel there is an opportunity for me to make a connection to others when I share my books with them. Each connection that is made is another opportunity for me to learn a new perspective or point of view.

I come from a long history of letter writers. Since I was young, I have tried to push the limits of what can be exchanged through the mail. For me, the magic of the correspondence is not just what goes through the mail but the relationship that is built and the journey that takes place between the two destinations. Often I create and mail something that is a gift only to be shared with the recipient. It could be a card I letterpressed to mark a certain day of importance or a watercolor painting of a particular image. Again, it is the intimate space between myself and the recipient that I am honoring with these works.

With my art, I try to make small and quiet spaces for enjoying moments away from the hectic world that exists outside. I honor connections and wisdom that has been shared with me and the intimacy that can exist even across vast distances. I hope to raise questions about where we can find comfort or healing and how we can find common ground despite our many differences.

© Mare Dianora