About this piece:
After my Dad passed away, I found myself digging through his desk and discovered a set of pocket sized Italian-to-English flash cards he used before traveling to Italy some years ago. My Dad was a lifetime student, always eager to continue learning new things. He was also passionate about spending time on his boat Padre Mio. On Sunday trips down the Housatonic River or out on Long Island Sound, he often imparted philosophical advice or family stories. This book merges my Dad’s passions with memories of our boating adventures and the loss of time shared together. The bell jar encloses and protects the moments and the artifact fragments, while the bolts from his workshop ground the image to the earth.
This enclosed book was made with my Dad’s flash cards he used to learn Italian (he was so proud of his heritage), wrapped up with fishing line and his lures. Dad loved to take short trips on his boat “Padre Mio” and I took a series of photos on one such trip where I accompanied him down the river. The book pages have multiple layers of collage including two digital photos over-printed on the cards (on one side) and Dad’s numerical tallies printed on vellum and dried daisy petals (on the other), and wax. The layered and wrapped pages open flat and piece together to reveal the photo images and create two “chapters”: the bridge over the river and Dad navigating the boat.
Flash cards (English to Italian translations), digital photos on vellum, petals, wax, fishing line/lures, bolts and bell jar.
Anita Gangi Balkun approaches visual story telling through mixed media and installation media. She received her MFA from Hartford Art School 2009, preceded by BA’s from Fairfield University and Central Conn. State University. Balkun was awarded a studio residency at the Farmington Valley Arts Center 2012, and commissioned to create installations for City Wide Open Studios 2012 sponsored by ArtSpace New Haven, and for PARK(ing) Day 2013, 2014, sponsored by the Greater Hartford Arts Council. She teaches at the Greater Hartford Academy of Art, and has her home and studio in West Hartford CT.