In April, 2015, I was part of a group show called “A Place Called Home” in Burlington, Vermont, as part of
HeArt and Home: Celebrating Inclusive Neighborhoods for Fair Housing Month April 1-30 2015
The show was part of a grassroots city-wide creative initiative launched by local artists and community organizations which included public art exhibitions and creative events with a shared theme of home and community.
“A Place Called Home” opened on April 1st at Burlington City Hall. The exhibition featured the work of four women artists, each demonstrating a different perspective of what home means through their creative process. Each artist was invited to write a personal narrative to be displayed with their work. The four women included Anne Cummings, Winnie Looby, Lyna Lou Nordstrom is a printmaker and fiber artist, and paper maker Deborah Sharpe-Lunstead.
Curated by ONE Arts Collective with Burlington City Arts
Papermaker and artist, Deborah Sharpe-Lunstead lives and works in Middlebury, VT. In her Washington Street Studio, she beats plant fibers into paper pulp, and creates paintings that lie within the sheets of paper themselves.
Pigments are added to the paper pulp which becomes her palette. The paper and the painting are created at the same time. When the sheet of paper is pressed and dried, the painting is part of the actual paper which can stand alone as a work of art or be transformed further with printmaking, photography, collage, painting, becoming an extraordinary mixed media creation.
A PLACE CALLED HOME
Over the past 45 years I have moved 23 times, living in 19 homes in 12 cities in 7 countries. “Home” to me means more than shelter. It encompasses a sense of place within the natural surroundings and community in which I dwell.
We are all part of the world community, and not paying heed to our place in the ecosystem can lead to disastrous results. I have lived through the choking, polluting haze from habitat-destroying fires set each year in Sumatra to clear forests for monoculture farming enterprises, and through the devastating destruction of the 2004 Tsunami in Sri Lanka, where a natural disaster was made worse where coral reefs had been mined or mangrove estuaries and sand dunes destroyed, leaving no natural protection from the wave. We place our homes and communities in danger when we are not mindful stewards of the place where we dwell.
I am a papermaker and an artist. Plants and paper form a magical creative world for me. In each place I live, I gather plants from my surroundings to use for papermaking. I also cut up old clothes to make rag paper. With the paper pulp I create paintings that lie within the sheets of paper themselves. These luminous pulp paintings capture the many landscapes around the world that I have called home. I continue to explore my place in the world here, in Vermont, where for the first time since I was a child, “home” may take on the additional meaning of permanent dwelling.