Home: Nostalgia and Chaos
New collages and paintings by Chris Cinque
Opening Reception – Saturday, May 7 from 5pm to 8pm
We have known Chris Cinque for several years. She has endured, along with all of us, the delay of this show due to Covid-19. We are pleased the hiatus is over and we are able to offer her work to the community. About her current paintings, Chris writes:
I had to leave my southern home when I was nineteen because I came out as a lesbian to my Catholic family. I headed to the far north where I had never been and no one in my family really knew where I was. I wrote about this in my trilogy of one-woman plays called “Growing Up Queer in America. One of the passages said this:
Exiles know what I know, what you know too
For when we leave our country’s borders and sweet fields
We are outcast from our country
We are outcast from our families
We are outcast from ourselves
I taught English for almost twenty years to immigrants and refugees and I felt a kinship with many of my students hearing their stories of being forced to leave their homelands. It is an unfortunate and all too common part of the human condition: people being uprooted from all that is familiar for whatever reason: war, natural catastrophe, racial violence, domestic abuse, poverty.
One of the definitions of nostalgia is “homesickness”. When my father, at age nineteen, went off to bootcamp during World War II, it was the first time he’d ever been away from home. He became physically ill but eventually recovered enough to get shipped off to Europe so he could walk across France shooting Nazis.
When my great-grandparents, Salvatore and Rosina, were forced to move to America because of poverty, Rosina died at forty-two from a brain hemorrhage and, I suspect, domestic violence leaving behind a large family of motherless children.
My family’s stories are magnified and repeated worldwide and throughout history in the endless migrations people have been forced into. We are so many of us refugees, but we are resilient. And that is part of the story as well. Wherever we end up, we create home and families and the satisfaction that comes from overcoming hardships and creating better lives for our descendants.
This show attempts to document, reflect upon, and honor what it means to have a home, to lose it, and to make another to take its place.
We will offer a hybrid Gallery Talk [in person and remote] beginning at 7pm on Tuesday, May 17. Nearer the date of this event, we will post a link on our website page.