The World Behind The World

Angie Schwickerath and Deborah Schöen will present The World Behind the World at the Kreuser Gallery in downtown Colorado Springs. Schwickerath’s and Schöen’s exhibition captures their personal experiences with two worlds (both physical and spiritual). While Schwickerath renders beautiful oil and watercolor paintings, Schöen utilizes steel, fibers, and installation; both artists explore the deconstruction of old ideologies and the reconstruction of something new.

“As a representational artist, I paint what is physical and visible, but have always felt that the outer ‘real world’ is at odds with the inner life. We are more than what ‘the world’ says we are. For example, historically, art has depicted women as weak, soft, and victimized,” says Schwickerath. “How can I truly represent the dignity and strength of womanhood? So, I put on a stack of Rolling Stones records and painted The Shards. Somewhere between ‘Ruby Tuesday’  and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’, a woman stands in the middle of glittering shards which were pieces of herself she had shared with lovers, friends and others. All broken on the ground and floating in the air, unwanted. She tries to gather them back to herself but realizes that it’s no use. So, she leaves them, giving light to the rest of the universe. The Giver of Stars. Every creation story has its own ‘In the beginning…’ with, perhaps, mythical or magical archetypes to instruct, illuminate and motivate human beings. The telling reaches something primal in us. These paintings are my own tales of goddesses, gods, angels, heroines and heroes existing inside each one of us.”

Meanwhile, Schöen explains, “The best way to describe my practice is that I am a conceptual artist who works in a wide variety of mediums. Some days I work with metal, other days I am drawn to the loom or inspired by found objects. There are times I work on video art pieces, handmade books, or 50 red satin scarves for a socially engaged public installation. I also enjoy working in large-scale public sculpture and have a lifelong affinity for photography.  At the end of the day, what ties my work together is my interest in human behavior and researching the endurance, strength and transformative qualities of the female persona. For example, I am a working mother with aging parents and a military spouse, and I often struggle to be in multiple places at one time. That struggle inspired me to create an interactive installation titled The Deborahs Project, where I enlist others to temporarily become me (a Deborah) and send them out simultaneously into the community on various assignments. Simply, put, the act of sending other ‘Deborahs’ out into the world magnifies an abstract concept: who (and where) is Deborah? I feel that in order to understand another person’s struggle it requires empathy and living in their shoes for a little while.”