Naomi RaMona

Naomi RaMona Schliesman was born in 1978 and grew up in the small rural community of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Born into a family of laborers, which included farmers, nurses, seamstresses, bar owners and woodworkers, Schliesman started using her hands at an early age to play with tools and to create objects out of a variety of edia.
In kindergarten at a private Catholic school Schliesman was told that she had too big an imagination. She was instructed to write with her right hand instead of her left. She was also told not to speak unless spoken to. She questioned God and faith and was told just to believe. She attended Catholic mass every Friday and Sunday. Living within and challenging these institutions led Schliesman to be labeled an outsider. It was this label that freed her to examine the mechanisms of these institutions and how they create or shape behavior, sense of self, and identity. Growing up, her family frequently moved from home to home. She became accustomed to the cycle of moving, tearing down walls, building additions, the redecoration and personalization. It was through these frequent transitions that the importance of applying her ornamentation and aesthetic led to a sense of space that said “home”. It was the disparate ornamentation of the décor of home and school and church that fostered an acute awareness of how different spaces were decorated and the types of ornamentation that signified the function of the space.
History and continuity play a large role in shaping Schliesman’s understanding of self and family. Illness and death have taken many family members and illness has affected the artist herself. It has been through caring for herself and family members that has led to an extensive knowledge of science and how that reconciles the psychology of illness and coping, while integrating the faith that one is raised with. Schliesman attended Minnesota State University Moorhead between 1999–2004 where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture. Two years later Schliesman chose to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison for graduate school, where she recently graduated with her Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in sculpture. During her career as a student at the UW-Madison sheKondrya was awarded numerous awards and scholarships. Naomi seeks to create objects and installations that create a collision of scale and materiality with ideas that are not fixed in our interpretation of them. She uses materials associated with craft; like wood, fiber, plaster, and metal. Naomi juxtaposes the visual weight of these resources while utilizing the architectural grid. This is done with the intention of extending an understanding of interior versus exterior, hard versus soft, and domestic versus institutional.
Science and disease has been a driving force in her work for most of her career. Her fascination with the scientific has helped her further understand disease and how to cope with its devastating effects. Her research into the world of the unseen has led to an exploration of the world of subjective visualization. Large ideas like sex, religion and death are monolithic concepts. These ideas when viewed through a cultural lens are opaque. Through her preoccupation with these ideas Naomi asks the viewer to consider their personal awareness of these themes.

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