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Artist’s Statement by erin L. shafkind

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One of my favorite memories of making art is from the 2nd grade. We were making brown paper gingerbread people with stencils. I refused to use the stencil and the teachers thought my behavior was strange. I remember deliberately refusing, because I wanted to draw and make the gingerbread person myself. After cutting out the figure I glued sequins and fabric onto it. I was extremely pleased when a few days later I looked up at the bulletin board and saw a row of similarly shaped gingerbread figures. Somewhere between all the uniform gingerbread bodies, was this scrawny, funny shaped little man. I had made it all by myself and I enjoyed it.

Photograph of erin L. shafkind at The Gates, winter 2005 Whether the media is clay, paint, printmaking, sewn plush sculpture or photography, I work with my own iconography. My art is about symbols. Symbols of comfort, love, memory, whimsy, dreams, wonder, illusion, sorrow, joy, aloneness, movement...I could keep going. Keep in mind - this is but a glimpse of the iceberg of meaning. My hope is that the viewer comes away with his/her own meaning. My goal is to allow the symbol to reveal itself, and not to give the viewer a stencil.