I create work that is a reflection of my experience. In a short span of time and at a relatively young age, I have lost my parents, grandmother, and mentor while also growing a new family, having two daughters, a loving husband, and a network of friends. I experience both an aching emptiness where the life that was is gone, and a bountiful joy of the new life I am building. It seems a basic strangeness that these two opposing states coexist, the sorrow hand in had with the joy, each deepening the other. While the details of my personal experience are mine alone, I ponder the basic strangeness of this coexistence as a fundamental aspect of a universally shared experience.
My imagery draws on iconography and mythology to explore the complexity of life’s peaks and valleys, combining images to explore through visual metaphor how strangely they seem to coexist. Bees represent bounty and industry, while the matrilineal structure of the hive alludes to the primacy of the mother daughter relationship. The fragility of bee hives and their vital importance as pollinators are apt conveyors of the desire to both embrace and struggle against the maternal bound. Pomegranates are loaded images, simultaneously invoking abundance and loss- the Hebrew blessing “May our merits be as numerous as the seeds in a pomegranate” contrasts the association with Persophane as queen of the dead. The image holds both life and death, while referring again to the complexities of matrline and mortality. Images of sky charts reflect an attempt to control an uncontrollable universe- the idea “If I can count and number the stars, put them in their place, understand their movements, I can protect my life’s plans and those I cherish.” The futility of this desire is complemented with the beautiful humanity of myth- the greeks created a pantheon that reflects the heroics and tragedies of people trying to understand their world. We have taken stories of very human relationships- of love, loss, envy and folly- and set them as the backdrop of the universe. Observatories, as places of solitude where you study the movements of the stars, reflect and search for understanding in the vastness of space, become a stand in for myself. They represent the metaphorical space I meet with the viewer- the communication of shared experience.
I am exploring how a wide range of traditional printmaking techniques serves as the foundation for a mixed media studio practice. My work exists in two veins; fully immersive installations and smaller individual works that include collage, painting, drawing, and editioned prints. I am interested in how the repetition of imagery and motif reflects recurring thought patterns. I believe that the way in which art is created imbues the work with additional meaning. My tedious and laborious process reflects an obsessive desire to both ruminate on past loss while avoiding the “elephant in the room”- the lurking shadow of future losses. Beauty plays a strong role within my work. On one hand it is a way to invite the viewer into the space before presenting them with the obsessive detail of my work and violent imagery of wounding that reflects emotional trauma. Beauty is also an act of defiance. Embracing it is a way of embracing the joy that exists in life, and telling that lurking shadow “Not Yet”
I inhabit a space between fully site-specific installation and a traditional understanding of individual pieces in a gallery setting. Each piece in my exhibition is a statement within a larger conversation, which isolates an aspect of the dialogue, examines it, and places it within the context of other works in the space. Coming from a strong background of collage, I bring the same approach of layering images to my work’s presentation. I look for ways to connect works as I repeat themes. As a medium based in creation of the multiple, print becomes a method for creating structure. This framework, indulging a desire for order, creates space for disruptions. Using prints as modular components allows the work to inherit visual information across pieces. Pulling on the iconography of symbols and objects I examine how my process reflects the recalibration inherent in the search for a “new normal” as life shifts. As I work, I attempt to frame a question- “How can we hold extremes of bitter and sweet - forces which stand in such opposition they should not be able to coexist, and yet they do- so how do we find the balance of them?”
I will continue to explore ways to bring printmaking into sculptural and installation works. I am thinking about innovative ways to use paper as a vital component of my work, not just as a substrate for imagery. I will continue to explore repetition within my work by using prints as a building block for work in series, reusing imagery in different works, and exploring the use of images created in wallpaper style repeats. I will continue honing traditional print skills while exploring new technologies and learning new approaches to image making.