“Not Afraid of the Dark”– A blog from Artistree Gallery

http://www.artistreevt.org/artistree-blog/2015/09/02/not-afraid-dark/

Autumn is approaching and we’re all noticing the incrementally earlier arrival of evening as each day passes. Autumn is a darker season that hosts one of the most amazing holidays. Oh, sweet Halloween! The season of ghosts, goblins and horror movies, washed down with candy and Coca Cola. It seems as if the dark invites the imagination to wander down a scary path. But there’s one local artist who is not afraid of the dark. In fact, her artwork reveals that she embraces the dark and sees humor in it.

I’d invite all of you to meet Lynn Graznak of Orford, NH.

Lynn Graznak

Lynn began exploring her “art-voice” after raising her children and experiencing “the wonder and the terror” of leaving her former life in the Midwest. Lynn describes being “chased away” from the arts more than 40 years ago. We’re thrilled here at ArtisTree that she found her way back to art to share her exquisite skill in sculpture with the world. Lynn’s art is based on this question she asked of herself: “Is it possible to take the ‘granny skills’ that I’ve been honing as a homemaker and use them to create something actually kind of real, profound, and jussssssst possibly terrifying???”

death baby sculpture

View more of “Death Baby.”

Lynn hesitates to call herself a “mixed media artist” or a “fiber artist.” She describes herself as a “surealist” and “sculptural” artist. She’s also a poet, and the words that accompany her artwork will haunt you. Here’s an excerpt of her poem, Death Baby:

On the last day that I had a body,
a crone with black smoke wings
instead of arms
left a pearl-colored child,
who was as lovely, silent and stupid as a fish,
in a bundle on my front porch.
I knelt and cradled her
against my stammering heart,
and I rocked the death baby
rocked the death baby.

Lynn uses repurposed materials (aka junk) to make her art. In this piece, she’s building Cambodian temples out of plastic soldiers and corks.

cambodian-temples

Here’s a work in progress, where Lynn is, “Drinking iced coffee and slapping plaster on plastic lizards… ’cause that’s how I roll.. ongoing progress on another panel of the ‘Madwoman’.”

plaster work in progress

 

And in the gory-fun antics of Halloween, here’s a picture of Lynn’s work, A Slug on a Cheese Grater, and Lynn reassures that the real slug who modeled for this piece is running free in mid-Missouri:

slug on a cheese grater

Lynn has instructed a number workshops and classes at ArtisTree, including Zombie Sock Puppets, Felted Dragons, and Magic Capes. She is a magical artist, and is scheduled to teach No Secrets! The Craft Behind the Art, and How You Can Create Your Own on November 7th. Also, be sure to catch her solo exhibit at the ArtisTree Gallery from October 23 through November 21. In this exhibit, I expect that you will see darkness, humor and fantasy.

I am personally a Halloween baby, born at 5:50 pm on All Hallows’ Eve, thus interrupting my three older brothers’ sacred evening and them labeling me as a most devilish trick ever! Thankfully it didn’t take them too long to think of me as a treat. I love autumn, Halloween, and Lynn Graznak. Working with her has always been a joy. Her artwork is stunning and engaging. Lynn’s autumn show at ArtisTree will certainly be worth viewing, and I’m going to be cheesy and say it: a real treat!

Learn and see more of Lynn’s work:

Facebook Page
Lynn’s website

Yours truly,
Diana Mellar

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