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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Revealing and Concealing

I often deal with autobiographical material in my work. Working with my hands helps me to work through difficult emotional content. At the same time, thinking through themes in my personal experience informs my making. I find myself balancing how much I reveal about myself as I refine my images. My goal is to hint at issues and set a mood, rather than declare an outright narrative. I want the viewer to be able to read their own story into the work as much as mine. I hope that my ambivalence about revealing too much about myself will make the viewer linger and puzzle over what I have made.


I have boxes of magazines and old books in my studio to use for collage. The local Automobile Club which covers my roadside assistance sends out a monthly magazine full of travel images. Finding a pile of National Geographic magazines at an Op shop is a dream come true. I also have a collection of old atlases. To start this project I pulled out a pile of travel magazines and just started leafing through them, tearing out anything that resonated with my mood. The next step was to look for patterns in terms of colour, style or content. I found a lot of red in what I had picked out. Organic textures and semi-abstract or surreal landscapes also featured. I looked through some of the personal photos which sit in a disorganised pile on a shelf in my bedroom. Rather than working with a self-portrait for this project I chose an images of a friend with whom I now have a complicated relationship.



I don’t know the origin of this image. From the quality of the paper and print it looks to be from a magazine. I saw it in the collection of one of my fellow students and asked permission to scan it because it resonated with my mood and the pattern of images I have been collecting for this project.

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