“Käthe in Bronze and Carbon”
Carbon on paper and masonite.

“Gable (Crown)”
Carbon on paper and masonite

“Brooms (Lashes)”
Carbon on paper.
11”x6” (2)

“Portrait of Geneva M. Legere in Carbon, Clay and Shadow”
Carbon and ink on paper, Polymer clay.

“Urns in Dust”
Polymer clay and carbon.
Variable sizes.

“Plaits (Blades)”
Collaged carbon on paper.

“Portrait of Morris on Skin”
Carbon on paper.

“Portrait of Judith as Skin”
Carbon on paper.

"Portrait of Judith in Hair"
Carbon and gold leaf on paper.

In her current work, Ladds blurs the line between drawing and sculpture in an attempt to archive and resolve personal and global history. Creating imagined monuments that function simultaneously as the gigantic and the miniature, the oppressive and protective, she draws the connection between present, tangible bodily indexes and history. She views this connection and the act of remembrance as a physical act of violence that occurs on the contemporary body, influencing and changing its natural forms.

Rebecca’s three-dimensional work ranges from a triple portrait of her grandmother as a pre-prohibition bottle of gin, a disembodied piece of architecture, a domestic tool re-imagined as eyelashes, and empty urns with it’s potential contents (carbon from cremation and carbon from her pencils) rubbed into the surface instead of housed inside, she explores the body’s relationship to everyday objects, seeing them as gendered and significant. She is most interested and determined to find the bodily essence in objects the less obvious they are.

In a different way, Ladds’ two-dimensional work such as her re-interpreted Käthe Kollwitz Self Portrait in Bronze puts the physical body first and foremost as a symbol of matriarchal nurturement, that is as heavy and foreboding as it is protective. In the artist’s own double self portraits she asserts the historical function of woman’s body as host for concept. The arts and craft movement’s decorative embellishments are tied to domestic objects and feminine roles in the home and women as artists are personified by the hand-drawn wallpapers of William Morris. When placed in conjunction with Caravaggio’s Judith Slaying Holofernes, hosted on the same bodies, an opposite role of the female is also celebrated as an all devouring, violent woman in the same domestic space. Though not related in time, Ladds projects these instances of womanhood as told by male artists on herself in an understanding and grateful gesture.

Borrowing images and concepts from the past and removing the original context in an act of reclamation, she aims to resolve her issues with biased and restrictive history by allowing for a second chance at physical interpretation to conclude triumphantly.