Sandra Guze

Modern Medicine (2017)
sewn wax paper hospital gown, silver fabric trim, plastic tubing, electrical wires, cables and mixed media
72 x 30 x 36 in.

Sewn paper and mixed media sculpture have been my choice of media for over twenty years. Born of second-generation immigrants, whose Great Depression survival skills shaped my religious reuse and reverence for the decayed and discarded, I’ve been driven to make and to remake objects.

Alongside my father, I apprenticed in the art of fixing and learned to take pride in making something from nothing–  or rather, from a resourceful collection of eloquent junk. My mother mentored me in sewing and mending, initially teaching me to guide the sewing machine’s path on a sheet of plain white bond paper. Thus, stitching and the scavenging of detritus became part of the fiber of my being.

After many years of sewing and constructing forms of cotton rag paper, I have recently discovered the fresh new medium of wax paper. Despite the technical challenges that this household paper presents due to its fragile, brittle and mostly unyielding nature, I continue to be drawn to this unremarkable  paper’s remarkably poetic qualities.

Although my artistic process remains mostly intuitive, the resulting forms are often steeped in reoccurring themes centering on the rigors and rituals of human relationships– especially those entrenched in the depths of love and loss. While many of my works emanate from a deeply personal and autobiographical place, they are meant to inspire reflection and interpretation filtered by the viewer’s personal experience. Certainly, wax paper’s inherent fragility, transparency, as well as, its ethereal and even disposable constitution contribute to that end.

© Sandra Guze