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Artwork by Louis Meola
Found Plate
Intaglio print, 2019
Artist statement

After the death of my grandfather, I became aware of an internal conversation about the space in which he worked and lived. An entire workshop, containing tools and unfinished projects, was left without a purpose. This emptiness draws me to the deserted shop, where I find the act of creating from his workspace and materials grants me the freedom to talk about our relationship. Repurposing the objects with which he surrounded himself helps me revive the person I called grandfather. My practice enables me to memorialize items that played integral roles in his day-to-day upkeep of the homestead. The repetitious process of printmaking provides an outlook on labor, which is acknowledged through both the printing and created objects. The resulting images range from being highly representational to abstract.

Reusing my grandfather’s belongings connects me with a person with whom I can no longer have a dialogue. Through papermaking, materials that I have found in abundance can be reused with a fresh narrative; by forming new paper sheets from recovered ephemera, I am able to give the material a transformed purpose. Sheet music from his shop supplies the main source of this conversation and provides a generational context to my practice. All of the work I do is in response to these belongings that would otherwise been discarded. It is my duty as the grandson, and the artist, to resume where my grandfather left off.