Essay exerpt from artist's handmade "bookalog"

September, 2005

Carol Es: 1-SELF

"...Her affinity for hand-made objects is related to her cathartic use of materials specific to the garment business, in which her family worked and from which she fled the yoke of both outright physical abuse and a more insidious psychological abuse that took the form of physical and emotional neglect. Her use of oak tag, straight pins, threads, textiles and so forth not only formally refers to elements of her story, but has her reliving certain literal aspects in a very direct manner, an experience Es finds painful but ultimately liberating. And in her attempt to get past events and move toward meanings we recognize an archetype of our modern world, the damaged soul who struggles to be whole, and who by the very act of contemplation transforms itself into something more. The path comes into existence only when we observe it. Werner Heisenberg said that too.

The operations of this process are apparent in the journal pieces - shapes cut out of oak tag and crowded with written and illustrated vignettes from the artist's life. Ad hoc series are culled from a vast supply and installed in organic, fluid mosaics that simultaneously express and obfuscate the heart of the matter. The piecing together of this non-linear narrative is as much a process of deciphering for Es as for her audience. In the more contemplative mixed media works on canvas, Es uses a lyrically indirect language of compound shapes and symbols derived equally from the realms of personal experience, biological forms and mechanical sciences. These include but are not limited to tangled root systems made of shirt collars that sprout scissor-petal flowers; elongated spirals that express inevitable forward progress; and gestural mark-making systems that cohere and hover like constellations of moments with nothing in common except the individual who experienced them all, and whose labor transforms their elusive ideas into enduring art rich with meaning..."

-Shana Nys Dambrot