Elaine Kowalsky – Marian & Dorothy: an investigation into parallel narratives

20 October 2000 to 26 November 2000

Elaine Kowalsky

© Elaine Kowalsky

The patient’s narrative, and its interpretation was the fundamental building block of Freud’s development of psychoanalysis. But his groundbreaking work was facilitated by his wife Martha, and in his later years his daughter Anna. These strong women created the setting which allowed Freud’s work to develop in a comfortable, well-regulated domestic environment. The Freud Museum, the home of Sigmund Freud, provided a resonant setting for Kowalsky’s strong, powerful works.

A Note on the Exhibition
by Elaine Kowalsky

In Marian & Dorothy, the written narrative is that of the female domestic setting in an Edwardian household involving interpersonal problem solving with intertwining heroism and romance. The visual parallel is that of the late twentieth-century diary of daily and personal experience of another woman whose live includes the domestic, but also other aspects such as work and relationships.

The present line of investigation in my work involves using parallel narratives through drawing by looking at those who experience the marginal places of society. The work questions and looks at the issue of place and how the “placing” of a person or section of society is fluid in history, with their placing changing and evolving into another and different “place”.

Through the use of found books used as a sketch book, and by drawing/collage on the pages, ideas and another parallel narrative emerge, and I am able to explore the idea of two separate concurrent voices speaking. Selected pages and images are then scanned into a computer to edit and be further worked on for a final piece that is then printed on hand-made paper. The exhibition also includes small sculptured objects that derive from imagery explored in the books. They are made of unglazed and painted unfired clay and are between 6 and 10 inches in height.