My work investigates human relationships through the use of
inanimate objects. Appearing superficially calm on the surface, these
domestic scenes slowly transform into a mounting unease as the viewer
voyeuristically steps into the midst of an intimate conversation yet finds
only silence. In most of the works, the space is set for two, giving a
distinct sense of being alone, of engaging someone or something that is not
What is left to contemplate is the aborted conversation, the
miscommunication, the silence, the emptiness of words, the unspoken
thoughts. These works are about capturing the tension of that moment. In
their state of suspension, the personified objects communicate a sense of
waiting and wanting, as well as a mixture of hope and despair; they speak
about the expectations, the potential, and the psychological tensions that
exist within a particularly decisive moment of time. The viewer, always
arriving too late, can only guess at what has transpired.
Common household imagery is used throughout this body of work
to create a sense of memory and nostalgia for time past, and an appreciation
for the humor, oddity, and mystery that exist within ordinary life. Playing
off inherent dualities, these works intertwine past with present, dream with
reality, and emotion with logic in an attempt to provide some insight or
explanation for what is, was, or might be.
I think of my drawings as internal landscapes of our bodies:
cells, veins, skin, nerves. These landscapes are systems that our lives
depend upon. They circulate blood, compress or expand to breathe, filter or
cover to protect and carry signals or messages. They are all inter-related
and inter-dependent. I use these systems to construct various structures in
my drawings. Like our internal systems, the structures are linear, flowing,
clustered, dense, and intertwined.
In the work, I draw a matrix of lines to represent our skins. The matrix
becomes a transparent membrane that is flexible. It morphs and changes as
our skin does. It reacts to its surroundings and can be pushed or pulled to
form lumps and bumps. I use groupings of white dots to make a barrier or an
edge, which is soft and willing to yield, envelop and grow around other
structures. Color emphasizes areas of tension, heat and sensitivity in the
The materials and the presentation of my work are as important as the
imagery. The immediacy and directness of the medium (gouache and graphite
capture the movements of my own body drawing) and the material (a delicate,
skin-like, rice paper) echo the content of the work. By presenting the
layered drawings pinned directly to the wall or laid out on a table like a
map, the viewer has a more intimate experience with the work. My hope is
that the viewer will make an emotive, physical connection to the
impermanent, ethereal nature of the pieces.
of vulnerability and awkwardness are at the core of my work. When creating
two-dimensional imagery, I choose processes and materials that emphasize
these concerns. I use various printmaking techniques; most often using
etching and relief processes. By contrasting the fragility of thin Japanese
papers with the physicality and dense ink saturation of etching, I am able
to reinforce the emotional tone in my work.
of work entitled
consists of four related pieces that seek to reveal very private, vulnerable
moments and emotions. By exploring what typically lies hidden beneath the
surface, I strive to expose vulnerabilities, make absence apparent, and push
the boundaries of privacy. Garments are used as a metaphor to explore both
protection and exposure; the closet as a symbol of ultimate privacy; and
hangers as the apparatus for the exterior self. I use these domestic objects
in conjunction with dramatic and internally lit installations to reinforce
notions of intimacy, emotion, and private space.
Ballweg has been Professor of Art and Head of Printmaking at Bowling Green
State University since 1990. Her M.F.A. was awarded by the University of
Illinois (Champagne-Urbana). In addition to having exhibited in numerous
juried national and international shows, she has work in significant
permanent collections throughout the United States, has won numerous
prestigious awards, including “Best of Show” at the Toledo Museum of Art
(1993), and has been the recipient of the coveted Ohio Arts Council
“Indiviudal Excellence Award” (2008).
Thum is Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs,
NY. She has won numerous awards, fellowships, and grants to pursue her
work, has served as artist in residence in Ithaca, NY, Corvallis, OR, and at
the Columbus Museum of Art among other venues, and has exhibited broadly in
galleries throughout the United States.
Martincic holds a B.F.A. degree from Bowling Green State University (2000)
and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2005).
She has exhibited widely and has won multiple awards for her work, including
“Best of Show” in the 48th Annual ArtSpace/Lima Spring Show (2000).
She currently holds a position as Professor in the Fine Arts Studio at
Indiana University, Bloomington.