In the World – Roots


This project is a series of biographical prints to tackle life’s greatest paradox: the coexistence of joy and suffering. In this work I am exploring and expressing what Armenia means to me. Armenia is not only the birth country of my father, it evokes violence and the sudden rupture of people’s roots, families and ultimately their country. Armenia is also a rich civilization whose imposing churches touch me deeply as they bear witness to its place and history in our world.

Three people had a profound and diverse influence on my personal development, my relation to Armenia and my world vision:

Just as she enjoyed unveiling the secrets of Armenian cuisine, it was my Aunt who took on the responsibility to share with me her appalling stories of massacres and torture. She represented the bond between the country of my father and my connection with our family history. Her stories did not just help me develop a relationship to an abstract country, they defined the Armenian community by which I was surrounded. More importantly, they gave me the acute awareness of the horrors in our world and engendered my unwavering commitment, through my art, to stand against them.

Passionate about history, art, culture and politics, it was my uncle, while I watched him sculpt, from whom I discovered Armenian aesthetics. These aesthetics, like the stark and somber architecture of the churches that fascinated me on my visits to Armenia, reflect the sorrow and resilience of its people.

From my father I learned that cruelty and violence do not belong to a people but instead to individuals. He would say “There are good Turks and bad Armenians – you can’t generalize”. Although he remained deeply attached to his country of origin, my father had an absolute love for Switzerland. He saw in it the possibility of a rebirth, a new future and a new homeland. His openness to being both Swiss and Armenian allowed me to define myself not as either but ultimately as a citizen of the world.

The human experience is as fundamental a source of inspiration for me as is the search for beauty a means for its expression. Just as injustice and violence affect me intensely as I dive into my studio to create art, it is the pursuit of balance and harmony between aesthetics and these emotions that guide my world. Roots is a response to a world that forever amazes me in the infinite range of experiences and contradictions that it proposes.

In my art I combine several printmaking techniques – here monotype, wood and linoleum carving, serigraphy and lithography. Although I use plates and repetition of elements, I work much like a painter and do not concern myself with reproduction in the more traditional printmaker’s way. Each finished work stands on its own as a unique piece of art. From tan aesthetic point of view I am obsessed with the superposition of layer; layers which symbolize the fact that na infinity of events, emotions and exchanges can take place simultaneously.

Banners in this series are 20″x60″ monoprints. Sale price is $700 each. Please contact Dionne for availability.