Mel Blowers Gallery
D.H. Ramsey Library
University of North Carolina at Asheville

DECEMBER 2-22, 2000


 As a naturally shy person,  I have always had a difficulty expressing my true feelings with words.  Because of this, I am attracted to the idea of self-portraiture, which allows me to communicate through body language.  This collection of self-portraits may have a likeness of me physically but they speak more about my inner struggles and emotions.  These works involve the idea of dreams, fears, vanity, feelings, and most of all self-expression.


These themes are shown through the interaction between my figure and the drapery in the composition.  The drapery in my paintings has come to represent as much as the figure itself.  The fabric reflects layers of myself, new things that I learn about myself daily and old habits that get in the way of my ability to be open with people.  In some paintings the drapery is smothering my figure, in other paintings I am pulling it away, revealing my true identity.


The figure itself represents the loving, the secret, my personality, and the understanding of myself.  My body wrapped or surrounded by drapery has to do with uncovering my spirit and discovering who I am as a person.

 These paintings are a culmination of all of the things I have learned about myself as an artist and a person, in the past year and a half.  The idea of using art as a kind of language between people has been and will always be an important part of making and viewing art.  I feel grateful to be in the conversation.

Mary Aldrich

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