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Let Me Hold That for You

Cumulative Residency Exhibition by Mary Kay Palazzo
Exhibition Dates: August - September, 2021

I moved to Brockway for my residency in late January, 2020. When the lockdowns began just over a month after my arrival, I found myself alone in an unfamiliar town, unable to regularly see friends and family back home or make new connections here because of the looming threat of coronavirus. Let me hold that for you is a series of vessels that serve as small self portraits highlighting the toll of long-term isolation, loneliness, and grief. Each piece in this series reflects the different effects that isolation had on me— from loss of identity and feelings of inadequacy, to unwillingness to form or maintain relationships after finding comfort in my solitude.

Each vessel in this body of work has had its functionality stripped from it, either fully or partially. By preventing these vessels from serving their purpose as containers, I am attempting to reflect my own dysfunction and feelings of inadequacy. During the months of isolation, I felt hopeless living in a world that seemed to be getting worse day by day, and overwhelmed with trying to balance caring for myself, meeting my professional responsibilities, and being a good friend, daughter, and sibling. I lost myself trying to manage the expectations I had for myself, and I let myself suffer in an attempt to hide how bad I was doing. The degree to which the function is removed from each vessel is less obvious in some pieces than others, and the pieces that seem to be more functional rely on interaction to show the extent of their dysfunction. Throughout this series, the loss of function is paired with bold color, dynamic shapes, and soft material in order to invite engagement with the pieces and mirror my own attempts at concealing my challenges from the people in my life. 

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Copper, cloisonné enamel, brass, bronze, mixed media

Don’t Get Too Close

Brass, enamel on copper, powder coat, gold leaf, mixed media

The Wallflower

Copper, brass, enamel, mixed media

I’m Not Even Sure It Matters

Copper, brass, enamel, mixed media

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