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Debra Olin
The Power of Language

Click here for a Gallery of Debra Olin's work

In a series of monotypes printed on cloth and paper, Debra Olin explores issues of personal and family history and identity, often incorporating Yiddish, the language of her grandparents, into her art.

She uses her grandmother's garments in her prints, as well, the textures of lace, brocade, and eyelet translating beautifully through monotype. Olin sees clothing as a metaphor for the body. The coat represents safety and shelter, a vantage point to view the world and one's relationship to it. The slip evokes vulnerability, covering the mysteries that live within us.

Drawing on both religious and cultural images and ideas, her art is also inspired by the Bible and Yiddish poetry. The exhibit's title piece is based on a 1943 Yiddish poem by Avram Suskever, "The Lead Plates from the Rohm Press," about an imaginary uprising in the Vilna Ghetto, in which Jews broke into a building where books were printed, and melted down the lead plates to make bullets to fight the Nazis.

Olin has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. Among her numerous honors is the Materials Award of The Boston Printmakers 1999 North American Print Exhibition.

Dodd Center, West Corridor
August 28 - October 20, 2000
Curator: Michele Palmer