In my work I am persistently dissecting the idea of home, hometown, home country, home culture, studying how others identities are affected by this idea and how my own identity is shaped by lack. I have built up a personalized iconography that represents certain events and memories, and decisions from the nomadic style of life I was born into. Through this iconography my art inevitably becomes autobiographical and self-referential. The majority of my work also reflects my love of language and images that are common metaphors are common though the formula for reading them is usually my own. I use the conceptual mostly as process as I do not expect viewers to be able to directly translate this formula.
In practice I tend towards the arts that are heavily processed based like printmaking or sculpture so it makes sense to me that my creative thought also becomes process. I also have an ongoing love affair with art from cultures and practices foreign to my own; those artworks that are so visually engaging, simply as objects of wonder, yet are also rich with symbolism at times secret and unknown. I am especially drawn to reliquary objects of any culture because of the notion of the unseen and also because of the veneration of a seemingly insignificant object. I play with the idea of the unseen and unknowable in my pieces and also the idea that as people the connection between insignificant object and the power of memory is so strong that we often save and cherish bits and pieces of the past in same way as the makers of the reliquaries. Our relationship with the concept of home is often instrumental it what kinds of things we keep and what items we deem important.
Leslie Stalter was born to a foreign service family and accompanied them to their first assignment before the age of one. She grew up in Guyana, Mauritania, Kenya, Jordan, and Indonesia before returning to the United States. She received her Bachlelor’s in Studio Art-Printmaking from the University of Virginia and then drove to California to complete her MFA in Spatial Arts at San Jose State University. After graduating she transplanted herself to Jacksonville, Illinois to be with her current husband and to become an art teacher at Lincoln Land Community College. The list of classes she teaches are almost as long as the list of addresses she has lived at. She now resides at her twenty-sixth address in Springfield, Illinois with her daughter, husband, and dog.