My work investigates disruption, loss, trauma and reparation, and the intertwining of pain and pleasure, vulnerability and ferocity. Inspiration comes from the turkey vulture and the handkerchief. The Vulture, is the harbinger, a “breath of fresh air” as its latin name “Catharsis Aura” translates clearly. Metaphorically in my work they are the paradox…the necessary destruction before creation, beauty in ugliness, the pain in the pleasure, the end and the beginning. The handkerchief conceals and reveals, both a decorative fashion accessory and intended for personal hygiene. Used during moments of emotional breakdown or physical crisis, to hold mucus, tears, sweat and blood, yet and a symbol of normative femininity as well as the gay/counter culture/avant guard Dandy.
The paintings incorporate personal narrative, social and political experience within the corporeal and philosophical. There are Surrealist underpinnings driving the work. I share some of the concerns of the Surrealist’s working between the wars (which are still relevant to our contemporary concerns) –– the political, the psycho/social, and spiritual grappling with the subconscious, working within, yet pushing against, established systems are the underpinnings of my work.
Distinctions are blurred between the natural, the vegetal and animal world, and the manufactured and designed. This describes the untethered-ness, the sense of being unmoored in the intertwining, folding, and undulating imagery which speaks to the unconscious and ideas of fluid identity. I paint on cotton batiste which is used to make handkerchiefs, then liberate them from a ‘support’. These paintings break away from the tradition of stretched canvas and are free to move, waft, and float across the surface of the wall.
The work is both abstract and representational. Abstracted patterns taken from the handkerchief are re-read as elements of nature. The use of catastrophic marks, pattern and camouflage, and stains work with and against each other to speak to patterns in nature, life cycles and the creative process. Images and painting qualities are superimposed, and often conflict. Marks are construed as flesh, pigment stain read as bodily fluids. Pattern and pressure is employed conceptually, metaphorically and literally.
My works are conceived as reflections on the ways in which I perceive my experience as an artist making paintings today, and as a human being experiencing life, discovering new ways of making meaning.