The Room of Relief is an exhibition designed by three relief printmakers who share a strong creative and philosophical interest in art that illuminates contradictions in the human condition.
Curlee Raven Holton first presented the idea of an exhibition/installation of large-relief prints. His intention was that they would speak to the need for art that provokes an awareness in our daily lives of the compromise, ignorance, and silence of our own participation in dehumanizing social dynamic. His work suggests that this failure to liberate ourselves from such suffering can be attributed to desire, ignorance, and fear. The answer, he believes, is in knowledge and understanding. Holton uses images of medieval torture devices in the context of domestic bliss to illustrate this suffering and numbness to pain.
Veronica Ceci, a master lithographer, experimented with woodcuts during a residency at EPI, and created images that remind us that the banality of life is pronounced and heightened by the all-encompassing presence of cell phones and computers, for such technology distances us from real and meaningful contact with one another.
The third artist is relief printer Francine K. Affourtit. She creates large, colorful images that masterfully manipulate the surface of her material to manifest illusions of space and dramatic, yet ambiguous personal relationships. Her work is poetic as well as tragic, but offers us, upon close observation, a deep faith in our transcendent potential. For Room of Relief, she created Totem, an installation of 100 woodcut prints mounted on canvas.
The entire gallery space, as well as the glass wall and doors, will be utilized. This immersive
environment will enable the viewer to seek understanding and relief from a daily life of suffering and distress to which we have become so accustomed
Holton is founding director of the the Experimental Printmaking Institute, EPI, at Lafayette College. Ceci and Affourtit were artists in residence at EPI.