Graduating Senior Spotlight: Olivia Zubko, BFA in Sculpture
“In an effort to make some sense of where I stand as an artist from a long line of maker-women, I examine the lifecycles of objects and belongings, particularly handmade “women’s work” and the tools for making such pieces. Materials such as porcelain, wood, and fibers provide a conduit through which objects can tell their own stories. I excavate through decades of belongings, left behind by the women of family going several generations back and find fragments, artifacts, tools, and techniques. It feels as though I am reading only a few pages in each chapter of a book and I must put the pieces together in the context of the world I live in today. I reckon with this by employing materials and concepts that are relevant today as well as subtle humor to stitch together a story that is both mine and my foremothers’ combined.
This body of work employs the self-archaeology I’ve been working with but with a special focus on the natural world, the terrain, and the synthesized environment in which such “artifacts” may be found. Core Sample, for instance, looks at strata and layers of time, topped with a terrarium which houses artifacts/fossils yet to be excavated. Of course, artifacts and fossils are not the same thing, but in my work, I like to imagine a point or place where they come together as one, where something is handmade but also biological. Other works featured such as Cold Comfort and Warmth consist of networks of crocheted porcelain shapes to invoke a sense of terrain made up of handiwork creating a topography that is both blanket and earth.”