Having seen KK DePaul’s work for years, and having wanted to reach out to meet her, as well as having so many of my peers saying, Crista, you have to see this work. Well, I finally did in Portland, and I was not disappointed. Her work is everything you would expect. Thoughtful, complex, constructed, tactile and a precious object you can’t live a minute without. The story she tells with this work is intense, meaningful and filled with life lessons for all of us. Connection points that stab us in the heart, hang on, and take us along her path merged as ours. Difficult to see as a jpeg, this work must be seen in person for full effect. When it is on a wall, take a look. In the meantime, live vicariously through these images.
Between the Lines
In 1929, my grandfather was hanged for murder.
It was a taboo subject in our family, and out of respect for my grandmother, nobody ever spoke of it. We believed that because my grandfather had been convicted on circumstantial evidence, he had been convicted wrongly.
After my grandmother’s death, I came into possession of a box she left for me. Contained within were all my grandfather’s personal effects during his year on death-row…newspapers, magazine articles about the trial, letters from lawyers, family members, and friends. It became quite clear, as I read between the lines…that he was guilty…that my grandmother knew it…and that after her death, she wanted me to know it, too.
However, my work is not a study of guilt or innocence, or even a document of the tragic history of my family. My work is about Women and Pretending.
Pretending often reflects a wish, however misguided, to protect others and ensure the viability of the self as well as our relationships. Each of the women in my narrative, including myself, murder victim, and my grandmother, has been deeply affected by the legacy of secret-keeping connected to this man’s actions.
I am a storyteller.
I have always been fascinated with multiple interpretations, double exposures, and the ambiguities that arise depending on which character is telling the story. My process begins with a collection of elements: memory…imagery…writing…objects. As I move the elements around, a visual narrative begins to take shape, signaling a new understanding of parallel stories between the generations. I see the layering of paper and photographs as being similar to the way our mind organizes memory…at different depths…one over another…constantly shifting. Sometimes I feel as though I am trying to solve a puzzle with multiple solutions. In the layering and relayering…combining and recombining…telling and retelling…I finally understand that I am no longer telling the stories contained in my grandmother’s box.
I am telling mine.
About KK DePaul –
Artist, Photographer, Educator, Gallery Director, Kim DePaul brings a multi-faceted background to her extensive career in the arts.
Kim’s award-winning work as a textile artist and photographer has received national and international attention, and has been included in the corporate collections of Smith-Kline, The Mayo Clinic, and Capital Blue Cross. Her work has been published in Black&White Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, and the New York Times.
Her dual role as an artist and a gallery director has given Kim the opportunity to expand her involvement in the arts, and use her varied experiences to curate distinctive exhibits at Gallery DePaul. Through her role as an art gallery director, Kim has also developed and led a series of photography workshops in Paris, Tuscany and Venice, as well as teaching photography workshops in the gallery.
In addition to her solid exhibition record, Kim has recently been expanding her interests to include alternative process photography, mixed media, filmmaking and book design.
Please run, don’t walk to look at more of these images at her website.