Zelda Zinn

Express Marks

Enamored of the security envelopes that brought me my bills, I began collecting and drawing them. Each new pattern discovered felt like a gift, and I guarded it carefully for future use. Seeing these letters as free art supplies, I amassed a pile of them. Wanting to ply them with my hands, I decided to tear them up, and to reassemble them in collage form. Eventually, I found myself working with intertwining branch shapes. Looking back, I see that I must have been subconsciously influenced by the Persian rug in my living room. Woven into its traditional design is an intricate tree of life pattern complete with birds, leaves, and flowers.  Very little of its space remains unadorned.

In my own collages, I liked the way in which the branching patterns overlapped, creating interlocking shapes. Since the tree shapes originated on opposite sides of the paper, one was always upside down. I was constantly rotating the piece to look at it from above and below. Like many rugs, it did not have a “right side” orientation. Since these pictures are created piece by piece, the final product is always a surprise, the result of many small decisions, kind of like life. As in much of my work, I enjoy making the aesthetic choices in the moment, while leaving the outcome to chance.