Kay Knight

Region: Midwest

City / State: Shorewood, WI

In the book "Off the Wall," the authors Lencek and Bosker write, "Wallpaper literally dresses interior spaces as expressively as clothes clad the body. Both integuments function as extremely public forms of communication that speak of their owner's cultural sensibilities, private fantasies, erudition, economic and social status, and psychological state. The papers that ornament the walls of a dwelling provide, in essence, a visual chronicle of taste in flux and an eloquent record of the shifting topographies of domestic utopias."

My current work has been a series of drawings, paintings and mixed media using actual vintage 1940's and 50's wallpaper. My father was a trained carpenter; I grew up with the sounds of table saws and hammers ringing in my ears. He built one of the houses my family lived in and remodeled several others. The thematic content of my work has been referencing the idea of home. But with the recent death of my father the content has a more powerful meaning: On one level the wallpaper reference, the home as a retreat a place of comfort and security, something my father provided; on another level using actual wallpaper helps set the stage for a series of symbolic psychological, domestic stories. These stories reference directly and indirectly, post WWII and the Cold War. In the end, these symbolic stories are not only a response to the loss of my father but are also is a response to our collective loss of freedom from fear since 9/11.