HEROES: WOMEN ARTISTS Who INFLUENCE AND INSPIRE By Serena Bocchino Essay by Lilly Wei
These “Poem Paintings”, as I have deemed them, interrelate free verse poetry that I have been writing since 1981, with my studio practice. My methodology is to create in layers: each line, mark, pour and brushstroke defines the next and maintains the basic qualities of abstraction. These visual layers of metaphor combined with each free verse poem combine to create the ‘poem-paintings’. They are created with cut and drawn text along with oil paint and graphite on vellum paper. Together, these materials work to pay homage to 37 women artists who have inspired me. The chosen artists are based on my personal interaction with their work and/or with each artist personally. Most of these women I have met in one form or another, either briefly or at times when we have developed a friendship. In each case they have influenced my work in some way. Some are well known names, while others are not. Since the project began over thirty years ago, HEROES: Women Artists Who Influence and Inspire has become a cumulative project that currently honors 37 women artists.
It has been a humbling experience to learn from these exceptional women artists that have impacted my life. To meet so many of them has been an honor and delight. And to meet some of them through their work has been enlightening. It is a privilege to pay tribute to each of them through this project. I am giving attention to them so that more people can get to see and know them through this book. They truly are heroes to me and, once you get to know them through either their work or learning about their lives, I believe they will become your heroes also.