I am an American artist who has lived in and has family in Germany. Since 1993 my work has involved ideas about transience, loss, identity, memory and war.
My work is derived from personal history - either told or uncovered. I document the memories of people, things and moments that continue to resonate in my life. It is my attempt to integrate and reconcile autobiographical motifs. I gather personal imagery from a rich archive of family photos, letters, books and historical images as well as found objects with meaning. I use such things as glass bottles, silkworm cocoons and keys, bits of string, cloth and eggs to store away these moments and memories. The weight of small things is our lives.
There is a German saying, Es zieht sich durch wie ein roter Faden, or It goes through like a red thread (that ties it all together). Threads are an illusion to the paths we choose and how connected we are. Gas masks and glass are used as a method to protect and insulate from the known and unknown. Eggs become symbols of life, renewal and waiting. The merging of the historical and the personal, the painted and photographed has become the means by which I process events and come to understand family history.
I am particularly interested in words and language. I am interested in layers of information and meaning, transparency and opacity, ambiguity and nuance and of finding that balance between the story being seen and our own personal stories. Of what we say and what we see are two very different and parallel ideas. Perception creates the reality. Everything I create from photographs to canvas size and shape are carefully considered. My work is about who I am... where I have come from and what I believe to be sacred and enduring. I make art to challenge, calm and satisfy the mind and heart. I share my work in hopes of leaving some permanent, telling mark on the world... that I was here.
A native of Washington, Nicole Brauch received her B.F.A. from Cornish College of the Arts. She also studied at the Simon-Mayr Staatliche Realschule in Riedenburg, Germany.
Brauch’s recent work has been an attempt to integrate and reconcile autobiographical and historical motifs. She culls personal imagery from a rich archive of family photos, family letters, books and historical images as well as found objects rich with meaning such as honey, silkworm cocoons, and eggs. Oftentimes these precious items are protected in glass bottles. The merging of the historical and the personal, the painted and photographed has become the means by which Brauch processes events and comes to know personal, familial history.
By using printmaking techniques integrated with painting, encaustic and sculptural elements, a story is told much like the stories that accompany photos in family albums. The layers allow for others to project their own family history upon them.