For over a decade, Lesley Dill has combined poetic texts with her similarly poignant figurative imagery. Her art speaks of human vulnerability and of our need for intimate connections. The visionary words of poets, particularly the reclusive Emily Dickinson (1830–1886), Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), and Salvador Espriu (1913–1985), have been a constant touchstone for the artist. In Punch, a banner bearing Espriu’s verse, “How ruthless are the gentle,” trails behind a clenched fist (cast from the artist’s hand). Dill thought of the interface betweenfist and face as, ambiguously, both a kiss and apunch—a visual parallel for the complexity of intense relationships that can be dually loving and hurtful.
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