Kay Ruane 1956 | Chicago
For years I've been drawing figures inside a room with micro landscapes out the windows. I think of the drawings as dioramas, or tiny graphite worlds. At first these drawings were formal in imagery, as well as strictly black and white. Recently, I'm paying a lot more attention to details like the kind of flower, the title of a book on the table or a painting on the wall. I want these details to relate to specific themes in each drawing, with a dose of humor and sexuality. Often the specific theme is related to a cultural disconnect, as well as a longing to be a part of a different physical reality and the culture it embodies. At the same time, there is a fear of actually experiencing the culture, or other world, represented by what is "outside the window". The details are sometimes overabundant and take the drawing towards excess, literally invading the figure's space. There can also be a stereotypical or childlike association to the objects and landscapes, for example, a Disney-like imagineering of a "Safari" or a "Coronation". Even though I am the model for the figures in the drawings, I use my image as a starting place and each figure then creates her own life. I use the final figures to explore my own sense of identity and my relationships with the physical world, but the figures also develop their own unique identities and relationships.