peggy lee oster: family romances II (the basement)
January 18 - March 19, 2022
Ro2 Art is pleased to present Peggy Lee Oster's Family Romances 2: The Basement. The installation is on view from January 18, 2022 to March 19, 2022 at Ro2 in the Cedars' Gallery Under the Stairs.
Family Romances 2: The Basement is a multi-media installation that features a three-dimensional doll house full of secrets and mystery. The piece has a voyeuristic quality that is juxtaposed with whimsical angels and carefully crafted vintage architecture creating a unique experience. Each room has its own story adding dimension to the melancholic state of the doll house and the malignant appearance to those who reside within. The almost cinematic layout of the installation allows for a clear view of what may lie beneath the surface of the family next door.
I’ve always been haunted. I have vivid memories of patterns and people in the crib and my childhood with a feeling I was in a shell with only my eyes connecting me to what was happening around me. As an adult, I often have nightmares and talk loudly in my sleep called Parasomnia, disturbing disorders of sleep. Chronic insomnia and Parasomnia have plagued me since I was a child. I grew up in the 1960s in a family that was a member of the Jehovah Witnesses religion.
In my art I use figures to explore the feminine in relationships with religion, social norms and within family. These explorations are autobiographical to the point that I express vague memories of what I felt, observed, and experienced in my life within the spheres of religion, society, and family.
For Family Romances 2 pieces, I have collected and use Dollhouse 1:12 scale items and dolls that are original to the 1960s and retro styled to the 1950s and 60s to depict that era of the fantasy family that I grew up in – a family that on the outside was seen as a hard-working middle class, healthy, Christian family that had no dysfunctions to worry about.
In Family Romances 2: The Basement, I am a witness and ask viewers to look inside my head to see something of what haunts me that deeply affects my emotional self and survival in society, but any resemblance to actual people, religion and families is coincidental. There is no blame of anyone or institutions, just a recognition that what appears on the outside of things, is not often as good as it seems. And life can often be surreal and not unlike a horror show.
about the artist
Peggy Lee Oster is an artist living in Austin, Texas. She has a Bachelor and Masters in Painting and Drawing from UNT, Denton, Texas. She has an Associate of Applied Science in Web & Interactive Design from ACC, Austin, Texas. She works as a Web Information Specialist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Austin, Texas; and has worked over 15 years for various State of Texas agencies specializing in digital accessibility for people with disabilities who access information provided by the State of Texas with personal technology devices and the internet. In her art, Peggy uses figures to explore the feminine in relationships with religion, social norms and within family and to experiment with painting techniques combined with materials. She makes oil paintings, prints and objets d’art that are expressive of what she observes and experiences. She is very detailed and careful with what materials, colors and paint techniques she combines in her art and strives for an expressive and ornamental feeling.