Janet Cook-Rutnik, born in NY, has lived in the Virgin Islands most of her life and has an extensive international exhibition resume – she has represented the Virgin Islands in museums in France, Germany, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Washington DC, and NY. The Caribbean and its impact on our souls and psyche is a dominant theme in her work. Shown here are images (White Carscape, Taxi Blur) culled from the video, The Journey, which are about being conscious of time as we venture forth in our daily lives, in our dreams and in our memories when it is possible to be in the Caribbean one day, Africa the next and New York the day after. Sidewalk Houses #1 from the Migration series, also references the kind of dream state of a traveler carrying the memory of home in the minds eye while experiencing the displacement and relocation of travel.
The Linocut, “No One Writes the Colonel Any More” was inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story by the same name which expresses the mystical and economic pathos of the Caribbean. Other images (The Dolls) are from the video, Our Father, which was shot on the grounds of a “shanty” lived in for 84 years by a Virgin Islands man whose refuse has been organized in a personal inventory system. In the midst of this chaotic but peaceful landscape are these dolls with their childlike innocence, burnished and abandoned to the elements, bound to displays along with other discarded items.