awareness of time & decay has always defined my orientation to art making & strongly influences the materials i choose to work with. I use traditional & non-traditional art supplies--products found around the house, items rooted out of trash bins or resurrected from unsuccessful pieces. i make mistakes, incorporate accidents, & welcome chance occurrences. missteps become opportunities to reduce what has become complicated to the more elementary. it is often in these shifts of direction & purpose that i reach what is essential about a piece & find its true meaning & emotional resonances.
the overarching subject of my work comes primarily from personal experience--my son's difficult birth made me intensely sensitive to the threats & realities of brokenness. my early artistic preoccupations focussed on the vulnerable body, the harms it can sustain as well as its potential for healing. my years of work in psychiatric hospitals afforded me ongoing opportunities to know the fragility of individual & collective mental health as well as the devastating impacts of injustice. yet I remain inspired by the strengths that can emerge out of trauma & find my aesthetic direction in exploring this paradox. I use my diverse materials in ways that expand their relevance & restore their potential for beauty: not by fixing them but by honoring their brokenness as a form of wholeness in its own right.
regarding process & materials
bandages & tapes: I repurpose bandages & tapes that hide & heal wounds, that hold damaged things together. I establish conventional associations--to germs, disease, unchecked proliferation--& then go beyond the everyday to emphasize purely formal qualities. combinations of varied shapes, sizes & designs enhance visual connections & display the surprising elegance in accumulations. inevitable fading, discolorations & unexpected additions suggest alternative readings & trans- formations over time.
scratchboards: I create wounds as I scrape & gouge into the darkened surfaces of scratchboards. I extend & transform my mark making into colorful patterns, landscapes, exploding grids, or indeterminate beasts. I work in black & white & color & introduce foreign materials such as clay to fill in areas I've 'ruined' by digging in too deeply. often these 'irreparably' damaged areas become the center of continuing work on pieces that I prematurely designated 'failures'.
photographs: I carry my camera with me everywhere & often look down. I am fascinated by cracks in sidewalks, metal plates embedded in streets, spray painted lines & worker’s scribbles that suggest strange creatures, inscrutable languages, cosmic turbulence. I focus in on tree knots or the shredding wood of telephone poles & discern ways in which nature repairs itself & ways human interventions (that often begin as efforts to repair) wind up as scars or defacements of the environment. I gaze in & out of all variety of windows, frames for what I look at & boundaries that limit, obscure or distort what I see.