Marlboro is pleased to announce that visual arts faculty member Cathy Osman was awarded a Vermont Arts Council “creation grant” to support the creation of a body of work addressing the multifaceted relationship between the U.S. and Cambodia. Cathy has helped lead service-learning trips to Cambodia three times in the last five years, and her recent work reflects the impact of modernization and the English-speaking world upon the Southeast Asian nation.
“Some of the work can be read as landscape, reflecting the damage done by floodwaters, or an image complex with scaffolding referencing urban industrialization and chaos,” said Cathy. Her work is all collage-based, constructed primarily using old sewing pattern tissue, run through a printing press with different surface textures and color then overlaid with marks of color and constructions of balsa and string. “The work also reflects upon my continuing involvement with a small English language school in rural Cambodia.”
Cathy describes the pieces as being large enough to have a sculptural presence on the wall, but also fragility. “The tissue paper is skin-like and the balsa wood weightless, giving the work a sense of impermanence, issues that are current to me now,” she said. “This new body of work will continue to engage and reflect on my relationship to my service work in Cambodia and what it means to engage in a culture which is dramatically modernizing, debilitating poor, historically scarred yet resilient.”