I'd Give You The Shirt Off Someone Else's Back
I'm keen on process and jarring people out of their realities. These fragments of cloth have seen many places, many layers of art goop, and have withstood an array of art process. Fabric and people, woven together, both asked to forgive, stretch, touch, bend, wear, layer, protect, tangle, face, influence, identify, weave, undulate, wrinkle, crease, waver, shift, and drape. By installing the dissected shirts of other' in public spaces, I'm asking passersby to see the world through a new lens; to look through a crack into another the dimension. I choose my installation sites based on ease, texture, lighting, traffic, and serendipity. After gathering up my dried and Bisquick-cured installation fragments, I intuitively art goop and collage on them using house paint, wallpaper, tissue paper, glitter, and varnish. After art goops have been applied and dried, I re-imagine the fragments back into a shirt for documentation. The shirt fragments become rather stiff and durable; double-sided artifacts, which i mail out through the US Postal System, to interact with the world in a new way. Furthermore, I ask my mail recipients to create their own statement using their mailed artifacts by photographing them in new environments and posting on social media, hash-tagging #theshirtoffsomeoneelsesback. It's hard to be a brave artist; to feel enigmatic and not fit neatly into a box. I appreciate the people who support me and show them my love by helping them to interact with me and each other in a new way, a further nod to the threads that keep us tethered.
Phone Home: A Wake-up Call
My former student and collaborator for this series, Rebecca Kanaskie, came to me with a puzzling prompt one day last winter. How could we breathe new life into her stack of abandoned phone cases after the initial practical life of her Lifeproof phone case was over? After pondering, it occurred to me to plant evidence of life within the walls of the phone case, rendering the case a showcase for natural artifact, preserving the specimen from decay. We collected both phones and cases, as well as an assortment of objects like insect wings, bones, teeth, leaves, flowers, semiprecious stones, shells, metal, wasp nests, and dried mushrooms for suspension in our gutted phones and cases with clear jewelers resin. Our connection to technology is rivaling our connection to nature. Too many of us have experienced that fidgety panic that occurs when we realize that we have forgotten our phones at home. Where will we find ourselves when we've forgotten about the health of our environment? This series is a call to action. With an increasingly aggressive and careless political agenda in place, our country needs to take a sobering look at what's happening around us. We need to get it together and connect with the planet rather than the Wi-fi.
Sometimes the world is so beautiful and terrifying that I want to preserve it in me forever. I want to ingest it and own it and have it; control it. I'm greedy for it. My series, Reinventing Landscape is about seeing the world anew. It's about logging off and abandoning technology in order to see things with new eyes. It's about everything significant and insignificant all at once. It explores the give and take between people and environment and our desire to control or tame. We shapes nature, and nature shapes us. These works are toner transfers of my own photography paired with images recorded by the Hubble telescope, often many layers visible at once. They are very smooth, tactile tapestries, meant to float off of the wall, as if suspended in space. The act of me manipulating fragmented photographs of my world, mimics, on a smaller scale, what people do to our environments.
Made of Rainbows
My series, MADE OF RAINBOWS, encompasses the transcendental philosophy that we are all bound by a life-force and the belief that the most important reality is what is sensed or what is intuitive. Rational thought tells me that everything in the world is made of science, and can be explained, but I think there's a little magic in the mix. The natural world of living things is a symphony of similar, cohesive and co-existing elements. I believe that we are all linked by this quantum mixture of energy and information that exists everywhere in nature. This cosmic energy of connectivity has manifested itself in my work, as rainbows. It is my hope that we can all start to treat all living things and our earth with complete compassion, love, and respect. I created these works by collaging found ephemera like wallpaper, gold duct tape, string, fabric, and lace to wooden panels, applying a photographic acrylic transfer of my own photographed subjects, and then covering with a few layers of art goops (varnish, water, resin, paint, paint chips, gold spray paint, and wood stain). We are tree. Tree is me. I am horse. Horse is universe.
Evidence of Others
One of the most comforting things, to me, is happily fading into deep thought or sleep while listening to other people's life sounds. I'm an observer, and I'm comforted and encouraged by other people living their lives. This evidence of others is inspiration for this series of intuitively designed collages using unaltered scraps of materials like paper, fabric, string, tape, and wallpaper.
Inspired by the passing of beloved Schuylkill County artist, Dave Naydock, my series, Transience, explores all change as it applies to time and space. It's a sobering realization that we do not have control over all facets of our lives, and I struggle with that. Forever in a perpetual journey state, who we are today may not be who we are tomorrow. For the creation of these sculptural 3-D paintings, I manipulated the fabric to mimic a presence, filling out the form in the cloth in a way that inherently occurs when we wear a garment. When a garment is worn repeatedly by the same person, the fabric adopts a memory of this person ; creases caused by variations in our contours; holes worn from too much friction; the memory of our movement. These works are hard to the touch and were created from meaningful clothing items that have been outgrown due to change. It is my hope that viewers of this art today will seize their time here and make the most of themselves in all capacities.
For me, Polaroids are synonymous with summer. They conjure warmth, happiness, nostalgia, soft easy freedom. I fell in love with Polaroid film and experimentation with alternative techniques in college. I love the imperfect, hazy images riddled with happy accidents. Many of my images were taken with an old Polaroid Macro Dental camera, which is a beast to carry around, but allows me to take extreme close-ups of my subjects. Several of my pgotographs have been selected by The Impossible Project and affiliated companies for promotional use.
In an Inverse Universe, lunar moon phases go haywire, causing the workings of the natural world to shift; night and day, sun and moon, land and sea. In an Inverse Universe, prey becomes predator. Inspired by an owl-faced pottery piece by Mud & Maker's Stephanie Premich, the Inverse Universe series allows for the underdog to prevail.