458 High St, Medford, MA 02155
Sanctuary UCC Art Gallery Reception: Astrid Reischwitz- Stories from the Kitchen Table
Dates & Hours:
August 20th – September 22nd
Sunday, September 8th, 2019 10:00 am- ARTChurch
For more information–>>>sanctuaryucc.org/august-september-2019-stories-from-the-kitchen-table/
I created “Stories from the Kitchen Table” to preserve and honor a fading way of life in my childhood home, a continent away. Going home means traveling the long distance back to a small village in northern Germany and my family’s old farmhouse, a house that seems untouched by modern time, and, one day soon, will be left behind.
The hardship of farming and events during World War II cast a prickly shadow over family members that can still be felt today. Telling these tales gives me a chance for reflection and transformation. Memories and emotions intertwine into new stories.
When I visit, I absorb the ingredients of home: the flavors of dishes that are so familiar, and the same furnishings, photographs, knick-knacks, and worn kitchen tools that have been there since well before I was born. Most of all, the very essence of home for me is gathering around the kitchen table to sit down for a meal with family and friends and share stories old and new.
Connecting past and present, my composites include old family photos combined with images reflecting how I perceive my heritage today. I use flowers and fragmented images of fabric: these dish towels, tablecloths, napkins, and decorative wall hangings (dating back to 1799) were passed down from generation to generation – a salute to the women who lived and worked under the roof of this old house. Pieces of the traditional costume, buried for decades in an old farmer’s trunk, add a layer of local history to my images.
My grandmother was a great influence. She was the overseer and guide of a local farmhouse museum across the street; she was the keeper of local history and the keeper of family stories and tales that often were shared among women in “spin clubs.” In past times, “spin clubs” met with the purpose of spinning wool, doing needlework, and stitching tablecloths and wall hangings. These close-knit groups of women stayed together until death. Today, these clubs barely exist. “Stories from the Kitchen Table” transforms this tradition of storytelling into a visual journey.
Astrid Reischwitz is a Boston-based photographer whose work explores the possibilities of storytelling from a personal perspective. Her projects include intimate views of private spaces and reflections on her own history and values. Using keepsakes from family life, old photographs, and storytelling strategies, she builds a visual world of memory, identity, place, and home.
Reischwitz has exhibited at national museums and galleries including solo shows at The Center for Fine Arts Photography, Danforth Art Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, Providence Center for Photographic Arts, 555 Gallery, Davis Orton Gallery, and Soho Photo Gallery. Her portfolios were also shown in exhibitions at the Photographic Resource Center and Sohn Fine Art Gallery. In 2018, her work was included in the exhibition Domestic Affairs at Newport Art Museum.
Honors include a Gold Medal Award (2019, 2018) and Portfolio Award (2018) at the San Francisco Bay International Photo Show. Reischwitz is a Finalist for the LensCulture Exposure Awards 2017, a Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 photographer (2016), and a Critical Mass Top 200 Finalist (2018 and 2015). She received the Best in Show Award at Cambridge Art Association’s 2019 National Prize Show and is a winner of the Soho Photo Gallery’s 2016 International Portfolio Competition, as well as the Portfolio Showcase 10 at The Center for Fine Arts Photography (2017).
She was selected as one of the Top 100 for Review Santa Fe (2015) and received a Silver Medal Award in the San Francisco International Photography Exhibition (2014).
Resichwitz was a feature on Fraction Magazine, Lenscratch, LensCulture, What Will You Remember, Wired Japan, Il Post Italy, P3 Portugal, Syracuse University’s Family Life, and the podcast Sounds Like an Earful. Her work was also published in Aint-Bad Magazine (Curator’s Choice), The Boston Globe, NRC Handelsblad Amsterdam, as well as other print media.
Reischwitz began her study of photography at the International Center of Photography in New York soon after moving to the United States from Germany. She continued her education at the New England School of Photography, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Lesley University, and the Griffin Museum of Photography. She is a graduate of the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany, with a Ph.D. in Chemistry, and holds a Certificate in Arts Administration from New York University.
In addition to making her own photographs, Reischwitz enjoys curating art exhibitions at the Bedford MA Free Public Library.