Alicia (Wierschke) Ulm

NOTE: In consideration of my name change, I have moved to

Artist's Statement

The inherent repetitive aspect of printmaking processes lends naturally to creating the repeated forms in my prints. Due to my great interest in process, it is inevitably intertwined with the form and content of my work. I have established my own language through the wood blocks that I repeatedly use in my different pieces, which tell different stories depending on the color and composition. The quiet subtleness with which they are printed in soft layers speaks to my own personality, yet also hold a bit of mystery that invites further investigation from the viewer.

To me, my signature forms of intertwining ribbons and tangled masses symbolize connections. These connections are the visual manifestations and literal ties I feel between others and myself. The ribbons may appear like DNA strands and tangled masses like cells. In that sense, my forms are visualizing the basic stuff of life – the common denominator in living creatures and the cellular structure that unites us all.

I am comfortable with the various and sometimes contradictory elements of my prints. The control of the careful carving and printing in selected colors is at odds with the lack of control of the overwhelming repeated forms. Though this balance of opposites may never be solved or reconciled, there is serenity in the balance. Naturally our world does not completely make sense, when seemingly basic fundamental things hold opposite characteristics. Light acts both as a wave and a particle. Our universe is expanding, seemingly so chaotic that we humans cannot yet understand how it is structured. I am at peace and celebrate that mystery and join in the balance of opposites.

While not always intending to strive for what is beautiful, I cannot force my work to be dark and ugly. My works are far too autobiographical and personal, and so they reflect myself through their quietness, calmness, and contemplativeness. I feel that my work has an elegant, tranquil power that is reflective of its creator. My work does not meditate on the darkest parts of the human condition, but is optimistic in contemplating what is good and hopeful despite balancing chaotic opposing forces throughout life. While holding abstract forms, my work is extremely personal. The prints become symbolic in their emotional meditations, and I hope to strike a similar emotional cord within those who view it.

– Alicia Wierschke