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It Always Was

Nancy Unger


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It Always Was

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This piece resonates as a cross section of a time in a midlife woman. Elements take the viewer on a journey across the cocoon-like shelter of home and its support system. Aspects of internal struggles and dreams are blended and contrasting with societal expectations. Fear and doubt are deconstructed and trappings of domesticity, sometimes holding one back, transform into strength and can be embraced as the very fibers that bind and hold the true foundation of life that allows one's inner self to find ultimate harmony and a new sense of being. 2020, 49.5" x 68.5" x 4.5" each individual square is 10.25" x 10.25" x 4.25"

68.5"H × 49.5"W × 4.5"D
Mixed Media
photography on cold press watercolor, glass, concrete, metal mesh fibers, lint, cotton fibers


You get to a point in your life when you can reflect on the life you built based on the choices you made, while gazing at potential futures, unbound by the choices you have yet to decide upon. In my work I have chosen to use industrial materials to signify the foundation of our lives, the domiciles and work spaces we inhabit. They are imperfect as our lives are imperfect. I reflect this in the texture, complexity and visual interest in the way I distress and use these matierals. I then contrast this with the images I bring to life to represent the memories, hopes and aspirations that we strive towards with the fabric of our souls. The holistic representation of each art piece represents our lives. In this trying time our homes have become schools, offices, entertainment places, restaurants and more. It is more important than ever that what we share space with is more representational of our journeys and the dream of where and who we wish to be. The work has become sculptural and mixed media using multiple images along with concrete, glass, steel and found objects including local reclaimed wood and vintage auto parts. The images are accumulated on a fairly daily basis, capturing either nature at its most perfect self or the ordinary and mundane or forgotten—the cast away objects. Included in the mix of nature and man made subject matter are some figurative images, but minimally as to slightly and cautiously guide the humanistic experience. The viewers response is high engagement and time spent exploring and moving around each piece, deciding what it is that they are experiencing— allowing for slightly different perspectives based on the viewers own life experiences. My work now accurately reflects my life—complicated, meaningful and layered.

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