Adele Crawford, Home, 2011. Photo by Sibila Savage
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Adele Crawford's work investigates transience and impermanence. Drawing from an ever-expanding collection of commonplace materials, she explores elements of past and present. Selecting obsolete things, such as photographs from the 1800s, vintage books, or personal papers, she alters their appearance and creates for them a new intention. Process drives her work, which is slow, reflective, and repetitive as she dissects, alters, and reconfigures.
Crawford often uses letter writing as a way to jump-start her day in the studio. Over the course of her residency, Adele will write a letter to us all, directly on the walls of the gallery. In response, visitors are invited into the gallery to create something tactile, unique, and personal—a handwritten letter to themselves that will become part of an ongoing installation.
Crawford was raised in a small town outside of Philadelphia, surrounded by natural beauty and lots of American history. She reports that watching the yearly re-enactment of Washington crossing the Delaware is still a vivid memory. When she was 15, her grandfather presented her with an Encyclopedia of Business and Social Forms, published in 1882, which had belonged to her great-grandmother. Since then, she has embraced empherma and the scent of aged paper. Her Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors have passed on to her the allure of thread and the use of one’s hands to create from the heart. Global travel has expanded her wonder and curiosity about herself and the world.