(the second “p” is silent)


(1) Writing material (as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased.

(2) Something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface. Something that has many obvious stages or levels of meaning, development or history.

The word “palimpsest” comes from Latin palimpsēstus from Ancient Greek παλίμψηστος (palímpsestos, “scratched or scraped again”), literally meaning “scraped clean and used again”.

I find resonance with the second definition of “palimpsest” –where I am creating “…something that has many layers or aspects beneath the surface… many obvious stages or levels of meaning…” To that, I add dimensionality.

I weave imagery into multiple planes in order to create a feeling of dimensionality. This aspect of my work also serves as a metaphor for the multiple dimensions of life experience. Markings and handwriting symbolically represent tracings of internal experience. Distressed and fragmented layers allude to the passage of time. As with memory, one moment is erased, while the next is painted, leaving only impressions of the first.

I am often inspired by turn-of-the-century photographs, handwritten documents and time-worn objects. I see these as evidence of someone or something gone before, and use them to convey a timelessness. Mixing old with new, combining disparate images and elements, I seek to create harmony and express a connectivity among all.

Originally titled “Walls with Ways Through”, the “Openings” series attempts to resolve the inner experience with the outer. The perception of obstacles and barriers (walls) contrast with new and expansive insights, expressing the idea that there is “always a way through” (any obstacle), as openings are revealed.

The “walls” in these works are inspired by the richly textured and layered surfaces of decaying building facades and poster-plastered, graffiti-covered walls. While marks on these surfaces record moments of physical experience in time, I use this idea as metaphor for the psychological journey.

© Copyright 2011 Sandy Young