Artist: Stephanie Roberts-Camello  
  Statement: Obstacles are part of everyone’s life. They have a tendency, if not dealt with, to become so huge and overbearing that they transform into phobias, only to be avoided. This work is about overcoming personal obstacles. We all have areas in our lives that need work, but avoid taking a real good look at them. I use old family letters or text under the wax that reference the past or the inner doubts that we all carry around. These are issues we need to learn from, let go of and grow as individuals.
The physical properties of the encaustic skins became metaphoric for expressing what needs to be looked at in a different way. The letters I use are old family letters from the 30’s and 40’s during the Great Depression and the dust bowl days of Texas. These letters represent a period of suffering , loss and endurance in our country, and for me, the intricately-worked encaustic shrouds became metaphors for struggle and change. Layers of wax literally cover up the past. Revealed, exhumed, manipulated, up-ended, exposed, all of these actions give me a sense of freedom, and the ability to step outside myself. Seemingly destructive to the surface, the peeling plays a positive roll in removing a build up and seeing what has been lying dormant. The depth created working this way is jarring to me, confrontational, alluring and frightening. There is risk involved, but the presence of this relief work conveys a sense of resilience and life which keeps me returning. It speaks with a boldness and beauty which is also fragile. This opposition between image/content and material is the catalyst for the development of my encaustic relief series. This work continues to evolve as I find new ways to shed light on subjects that need to be confronted.
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