January 11 – February 13, 2019
Roll Up Project is pleased to present mixed media works by Joy Broom. Broom uses paper ephemera, insects, wax, and other organic materials to reflect on the natural world, ephemerality, and personal histories. She prompts us to consider how memories and legacies can be preserved in meaningful ways. The artworks also evoke the magic of the Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosities, through thoughtful exploration of the natural world, scientific documentation, and art history.
In the Harrison Street window, a series of insect specimen boxes create a halo around Red Tree, 2010. A lifelong lover of insects, Broom began incorporating them into her work in 1991 during a month-long stay in San Miguel de Allende. Her shrines and altarpieces evolved over the years to include purified beeswax, seeds, branches, cocoons, vines, Italian Renaissance imagery, and ballpoint ink drawings, and are displayed here in deep frames and specimen boxes.
In the windows on Third Street, Broom’s Ancestral Narrative series tells the story of American life in the 20th century – one filled with cards to loved ones, photographs on the lawn, and sweet missives on yellowing paper. Using an inherited collection of ephemera, Broom repurposed family portraits, scrapbooks, and holiday cards to make the history of her family come alive. In Bio Historia 1, Broom drew patterns over the reused scrapbook pages, leaving photo squares intact and letting just a few photographs remain. The photo squares act as a textural element, and as evidence of something missing: both the photo and the person it depicted are gone forever. Broom’s poetic narrative of life, history, and loss comes together against a backdrop of finely-crafted layers and hand-drawn details.
Joy Broom is a mixed-media artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received an MFA from Washington State University. Over the past 30 years, her work has been exhibited at venues including the deYoung Museum (where she was an artist-in-residence), SFMOMA Artists Gallery, the Triton Museum, the Berkeley Art Center, the Bedford Gallery, and the Anchorage Museum of Art & History, among others. Broom is a recipient of the WESTAF/NEA Regional Fellowship for Visual Artists. She was recently named Artist of the Month at the Berkeley Art Center.
To learn more about her work, visit joybroomart.com.