The collaboration Soledad.solitude by artists Yvonne Love and Gabrielle Russomagno began as an investigation of the lives of several generations of women from Ms. Loves family who emigrated from the northern coast of Spain to the United States in 1914. Questions of gender, courage, truth and changing perceptions overtime informed the early phases of this work. Family interviews and scrapbooks played as significant a role in the art works exhibited here as did travel to family homes, gravesites, and the mountainous region of the Picos de Europas from which the Diez family originated. While the impetus for this project grew out of Love's desire to base the artworks on the facts of her Spanish ancestry and particular family history, Soledad.solitude though achieving this, became a more universal meditation on issues of identity, memory and self.
The collaborative process between these two artists evolved over time where in each artists strengths factored heavily into artworks that are as much a conversation about ideas between them as they are about content and the specific sculptural and narrative elements of each piece. Russomagnos background in photography and Loves in sculptural, mixed media, contemporary art, brought a diversity and richness to the process that ultimately made for new ways of seeing and rendering ideas. While both artists have historically worked with gender themes, the strongest connection between Love and Russomagno is their use of narrative as a unifying element in their work - stories implied, stories articulated, stories discovered. Soledad.solitude is their first collaboration together.