Repeated Returning is a meditative practice of continually refocusing one’s mind and staying present. This work is about trying to be in a moment, and then returning to it again through the process of creation.
We remember certain events not as whole images, but in fragments, like a prism or a kaleidoscope. Sometimes the image is so broken as to become obscured. I am trying to capture how my brain remembers, or doesn’t. When investigating these ideas, I’ve been inspired to invent new ways of ‘painting’, pulling from other disciplines. The fickleness of cyanotypes keeps me in a beginner’s mindset with less attachment to outcomes. Every work is a complete experiment filled with variables that can change the end result: fabric, chemicals, my son, the sun.
Land & Memory
The paintings in this series are made using natural dyes, which come from plants and fruits, on cotton/linen and silk. Pressed plants from my garden are used with the dye like stamps. Implications of nature taking over and being out of control are encouraged. The sharp lines of architecture become blurred by the seemingly chaotic growth of plant life left unchecked. Because the textile paintings in this series are made with natural dyes, they will not stay static, but will transform over time, fading, bleeding, and changing just like nature, just like life.
“For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go.”
- Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Ne Cede Malis
This flag was created for the show Call & Response. The goal was to bring together the variety of plants at Wave Hill into one unified composition. I chose to highlight the Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory as it’s an iconic building that houses tropical plants and succulents year-round. To create some of the hues on the banner, I made natural dyes from plant specimen collected on site at Wave Hill, using the materials to represent the site itself.
Ghost House addresses the natural environment around the home and how it impacts the inhabitants within. Our desire to distance ourselves from nature, or embrace it solely on controlled terms, is represented by the scale (1”: 1’) model of my home, built out of double layers of plexiglass, with native plants from around my property sealed within its walls.
For the site-specific project, Half Life, I built a brick-for-brick model of the project space at Wave Hill and placed it in the park’s woodland for six months. A motion sensor video camera recorded the comings and goings of fauna and changes to the flora over that period. These bits of video were edited into two time-lapse videos, one day and one night. They were exhibited with a series of photographs alongside the now weathered and dilapidated model.
Let The Outside In: Revisited
Let The Outside In
Let the Outside In delves into the fragility of “home”. This project is composed of three elements: a model of a typical northeastern house and two motion-sensor hunting cameras. The house was carefully built, fitted with stained cedar siding, the roof individually shingled, with interior details such as multiple levels, a fireplace and staircases. It was then placed outside in upstate NY and planted with native plants. Weeds and grasses grow up in and around it. The cameras document a variety of animal life moving curiously around it, and also the slow decay of the house. These stills animate a time-lapse video: duration one year, length ten minutes. The sped up year moves through all four seasons, and illustrates the thriving life surrounding the decaying house.
The title Involuntary Parks is a term coined by Bruce Sterling: “The continent’s imperiled rims therefore become a new kind of landscape, the Involuntary Parks. They are not representations of untouched nature, but of vengeful nature...” With the support of a Jerome Foundation Travel Grant I was able to travel to Chernobyl and take photographs on a three-day tour of the area surrounding the power plant. I then made a series of paintings and photographs based on my time in the 'zone'.
Land of Bad Things
Is the memory of violence fundamentally different than other memories? Is it more vivid? Can it get passed on: father to daughter, mother to son? How does a child understand a parent’s experience of war? If we try to recreate our parents’ experience of violence, can we feel closer to them – or is it futile and absurd to try? For this project I participated in, and shot video of, a Vietnam Reenactment in Virginia and a Living History Day in Pennsylvania.
He kissed her and hugged her and turned her around, Then pushed her in deep waters where he knew that she would drown. He got on his pony and away he did ride, As the screams of little Omie went down by his side.
- from Little Omie Wise, traditional Appalachian folk song
11 Cornelia Avenue
11 Cornelia Avenue reproduces my childhood home in Northern California on a 1:12 scale. It functions to examine the concept of home as a locus of safety and stability. It is lovingly constructed, painted, finished with detail and installed with interior lights only to become overgrown, moldy, dirty, waterlogged. Native California plants grow up and through the house, stretching out doors and windows toward sunlight. It was exhibited at Incident Report in Hudson, NY.