Artist Statement

I work figuratively and abstractly/conceptually. The work crosses between painting and sculpture. My unwillingness to accept a particular description as an artist is a means of maintaining a sense of autonomy and vitality in the work—of being “in-between.” 

The felt experience comes before the artwork. The vision is the emotion; I see moments in time like a snapshot, and they translate to whatever medium that feels right. The art comes before the language. Elements of symbolism and metaphor come into the pieces.  

By concealing and tangling the visual language there is a secretiveness. The wrapping or covering of the artwork forces me and the viewer to look for the layers of meaning. We are left to untangle a meaning or not. It is not essential to the work because one goal is to find a grace in some of the unusual materials I use and to make an object which is beautiful. However, my hope is that we look deeper; beneath the beauty lies the message which is usually not so pretty.

“A Woman Under the Influence” is a conceptual series in which I used materials that are commonly thought of as craft materials for “women’s work”—yarn, felt, sequins, etc. These homely materials become vehicles for abstraction, conveying abstract thought. The artworks, and the materials are a tribute to the work women do to maintain balance in their own lives and in their families and society:  materials that allow them to be useful and to escape thoughts of pain, anger, sorrow—political, social, or psychological. The thinking may be painful, but the work is meditative and calming. 

That series led me to another series—“I Wish I Had A River”. I worked with a boat form; the series builds on thoughts of escaping, and conjures a sense of floating away on dreams of something better. Since there is no real escape from life, the boats are presented in a fragile state.

Some people think or expect that you should make the same kinds of art forever because it creates a convenient narrative. I want my work to embody my inherent contradictions. “The sheer bigness of the world makes me feel lonely to the bone. The world is so huge that people are always getting lost in it. There are too many ideas and things and people, too many directions to go. I believe that the reason it matters to care passionately about something is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size.” (quote from The Orchid Thief)