Home and Justice, 24"x30", oil on canvas © Caroline Rufo
This is the text that accompanied my work at the Belmont Art Gallery for the show, A Woman's Place: What it means to be female in the current political climate and in the 21st century.
A wise woman once told me “Christians have Christian dreams, Jungians have Jungian dreams, Atheists have Atheist dreams, and so on.”
(Thank you Leila Daw)
Raised in suburban USA in the 1970’s and 80’s, I chafed against the patriarchal structure of the world around me without really understanding it. Feminism came into my life in bits and pieces as my parents divorced and puberty changed my body.
In 2014 I began working with the images and ideas embedded in Tarot Cards. I chose the cards because they are clearly a human invention and are not considered a divine text in the traditional sense of scripture.
I wanted to expand and re-order the symbolic vocabulary of my unconscious mind, to avoid thoughtlessly succumbing to a symbolic system I find oppressive.
In addition to reimagining symbols, I use “chance operations” in my artwork. Symbolic cards of my own design seemed to me the perfect tool for this thought experiment. I explore ideas of external and artificial intelligence through the ritual of posing a question and drawing cards.
I have now spent several years reinterpreting the deck of 78 cards and creating paintings using “chance operations” to combine the images, colors and compositions I’ve developed. The paintings I have chosen for this exhibit are works that involve female archetypes as well as my most recent work mixing text with abstraction to point toward the ideas represented in the cards.