Germantown Artist’s Work Hold Fragments of Stories and Hidden Text in BlackRock Exhibit
In atmospheric works that incorporate text, Lori Anne Boocks builds layers of memories into abstract paintings using acrylic paint and charcoal. The local artist, who is a resident of Germantown, is a keeper of stories. Boocks allows stories told by family, friends, and acquaintances to influence her palette and mark making.
“Some I know are true. Others, I’m not so sure,” she said. “But I use the words, rehash and rework them and strip them down to the bone, then build the sentences up again, layers upon layers representing the feeling of a story I know.”
Books embeds hidden story fragments, adding both legible and illegible words, as she develops her mixed media paintings in an effort to represent the feeling of the stories she remembers.
“A lot of the women in my family have had Alzheimer’s or dementia disorders,” she explained. “My goal is to create the feeling of a memory that has made up a part of who I am. Should I also end up with such a disorder, my hope is to look at my work and have a connection with my past.”
Boocks’ physical process is messy, as she often paints with her hands, not with brushes, to produce paintings that echo the way in which memories develop. “The act of remembering and sharing stories is a powerful thing to me,” she said. “Just as the passage of time creates layers of experiencing — the remembering of an event, the misremembering of it, the distancing, the forgetting — my coats of color washes and texture become a lens through which I share my cache of stories.”
Boocks transforms each piece, then creates a patina by partially removing the pigment in areas using her hands or cloth. “Washes of pigment applied at the end of the process aim to give each piece a history of its own,” said the artist. “As if I’ve excavated something long buried and rediscovered.”