Thursday's Child

An Exhibition by Stephanie Brunia
On view from August 29 - October 9, 2016

Please join us for an exhibition reception on
Saturday, September 17th from 5 - 7 PM at the cafe!

Exhibition Statement:

My father and I were both born on Thursdays.  He finds particular significance in these sorts of details.  I view them as indistinct legacies—far less significant than the genetic one we share, but a subtly parallel path nonetheless.  Perhaps the only significance of this trivia is that we both have tried to imbue it with meaning—to make it somehow consequential—this arbitrary fact that came at the beginning of both our stories.  Conceivably this is how love works.  We place enough mutual faith in our desire for connection that we elevate these circumstantial strands in an effort to cinch the knots that bind us.  Our stories become so intertwined that at times it is hard to distinguish the self and the other.

My story has only ever included my father.  He has been an undeniable fact from the start—his existence seemingly as concrete and fundamental to my world as the laws of physics.  I was fortunate that in my youth my father willingly took on the role of providing for my care, firmly cementing his position within the bedrock of my understanding of self.  However, the undeniable nature of time means that the accumulation of years has begun to show.  Small changes creep in—their presence a reminder that our beginnings and endings will, in all likelihood, mirror one another: his life beginning without me; my life ending without him.

My father’s end is by no means imminent, however, our relationship is clearly facing transition.  In an attempt to see (and ultimately to understand) these weighty and largely indiscernible moments, I have turned to photography.  At the core of these portraits is my desire to stave off his inevitable decline.  Yet this desire, in itself, is incorporeal.  In order to visualize these intangibles through photography—a medium that can only deal with physical bodies in concrete spaces—I find myself performing futile gestures for the camera.  The futility of these attempts means I often repeat the same gestures—ones of shrouding, erasing, gazing and tracing—as if hoping for a different outcome.   In this work, his flesh is my flesh; and in his aging, I face my own.

About the Artist:

Originally from Ames Iowa, Brunia currently lives in Oxford, Iowa. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in 2012 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in 2007.  Brunia has exhibited at various venues throughout the U.S. including the Griffin Museum of Photography, Rosalux Gallery, the Center for Fine Art Photography, and Rayko Photo Center and Musee d’Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland.  In 2011, Brunia was selected as one of three artists to be featured in the Des Moines Art Center’s annual Iowa Artists exhibition.  She has been chosen as one of eight artists to be included in the Sioux City Art Center’s inaugural Sioux City Art Center Selects exhibition.  Most recently, Brunia has been selected as a 2017 Iowa Arts Council Fellow.

To see more of her work, visit: www.stephaniebrunia.com

For sale inquries or to make purchases, please contact:
Lauren Frances Evans, Gallery Curator, at timesclubgallery@prairielights.com.