I received my BFA, magna cum laude, from Hartford Art School, W. Hartford, Connecticut and continued with postgraduate studies at the Akademie der Bildenen Künste in Munich, Germany. Recently I relocated to Woodstock, NY from New York City. As a collagist, painter, book arts and fiber artist I often invoke a metaphysical quality of contemplation and timelessness. My works on/of paper reference the material of antique books, music manuscripts, ephemera and photo postcards - deconstructing paper, images and text, and using it in metaphorical ways. Through the exploration and manipulation of the antique materials, history, memory and time merge in a hybrid form. The process reveals how language can become visual through re-interpretation.
The PBS/OFF BOOK Book Arts mini-documentary in the series on progressive arts, features Kunstadt in the segment, Transforming the Sacred. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC4fLk-XeeI
The Sacred Poem Series takes physical, material, and intellectual inspiration from Parish Psalmody, A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship, published in 1844 and 1849. The complete body of work from this series spans ten years and numbers over one hundred works.
A book is not only the way in which text is presented, but it is also a container. An irreplaceable aspect of the book is that books absorb histories. Paradoxically the limitations of the form/codex presents us with important conversations, intimacies and the possibility of expansive experiences.
Pages of psalms are manipulated and recombined, resulting in a presentation that evokes an ecumenical offering - poems of praise and gratitude. The aged pages suggest the temporal quality of our lives and the vulnerability of memory and history.
Visually there is a consistent and measured cadence to a page of psalms which is echoed in the often repetitive weaving or restructuring of the paper. The gold leaf elevates and heightens the rich textural qualities presenting a sumptuous visual experience. The interplay alludes to the enticing presentation of illuminated texts historically.
The intended use, as well as the nature of a psalm as spiritual repository, both imply a tradition of careful devotion and pious reverence. The physical text evocatively and powerfully serves as a gateway to an experience of the sacred and the realization of the latent power of the written word.