Artist Statement

Making art lets me tell the unlikely stories that are in my head, and express the tenuous connections that I see in the world and in disparate materials. Craft a coherent narrative from my sometimes incoherent thoughts. Create order.

My work is a means for communicating the new lives that I imagine for discarded or ignored objects that I find in the world around me. I am partial to tall tales, and my first explanation of a situation is usually the most absurd one. The mixed media sculptures I create are a means for me to share my internal monologue with those around me in ways that are hopefully both poignant and amusing.

The pieces I create are literally held together with craft techniques that I learned as a child, which help bridge the distance between my childlike imagination and my art practice today. Knitting, sewing, embroidery, executed over long hours with exacting detail are to me an important way of imbuing my pieces with value lent by care and attention that belie the (non-)value of my raw materials. However, by using these techniques in contrary ways to produce pieces that are neither functional nor traditionally decorative, I hope to explore the intersection of craft and fine art, of the “womanly” qualities I was supposed to gain in learning them and the power to manipulate materials to create precise forms that I have gained.

The materials that I gravitate toward include childhood relics such as broken dolls, abandoned school books, and outgrown clothing. They fascinate me, both as representations of cute, safe, idealized childhood when they are new, and in the way their messages change as they age, break, and generally become imperfect through use and time. They serve as catalysts for creation, inspiring me to curiosity about their origins, the lives they had before they were discarded, who lost or threw them away, and what these everyday objects can become by focusing on them and showing others the stories I can see in them.

Celena Peet
Oakland, CA, 2016
celenapeet@gmail.com