Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I plan to use this blog as a personal journal. Since I'm not the type to keep secrets (except ones even I don't know) I will be pretty forward so be warned. I'm an artist and most of my ramblings will be thoughts and meditations about my work or works in progress.
I was born in Springfield, Illinois. In 1990, I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 1993, I received a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of New Orleans. My paintings, videos, and books have been exhibited/published both nationally and internationally.
Books, because of their exterior/interior format, as well as their sequential ordering, have been of particular interest to me. The book as an object allows the viewer to be guided through a thought process as well as evoking time and journey/text and image in an intimate fashion. Currently both my paintings and book projects are explorations (visual) and meditations (poetry) encapsulating my ideas of spirituality, travel, love, death, shelter and hope. Autobiography is a huge part of my work. Chanting, dreaming and walking are repeated elements in most of my work. One example of this is my reoccurring use of bed and medical images. Our beds are where we spend at least a third of our lives, it’s where we dream - where we make love - its deeply private in most respects - but at the same time as soon as it’s on public display, it can remind a viewer of a hospital or prison bed, or a surgery table. I’m interested in forms and images that accompany the body and in the traces the body leaves: a bed, a coffin, a funeral urn, and shadows.
Although I work with the feelings of loss, mortality, and the power and delicate nature of memory, my work is a reflection of my attempt to live my life in fragile exultation. The process of piecing together an image is a meditative exercise for me. I begin with cast off images and papers, and layer seemingly dissimilar elements that trigger associations in complex combinations. Most of my recent work reflects a multitude of interests including phrenology, meditation, Buddhist architecture, text, medical illustration, and spirituality. My work is composed of myriad layers of media, ideas and associations. The process of piecing together an image is a kind of meditative exercise for me having as much to do with duration as physical texture. I see it as a function of time, like the idea of chanting. I want to personify intangible experiences and feelings and make them tangible for my audience. While painting and layering found materials, seemingly dissimilar elements begin to trigger associations with other images and ideas. It’s my hope that the viewer connects these images by drawing on their own interests and associations. The aim of my work has always been to arouse in my audience (as well as myself) an experience of empathy with my subject matter more than sympathy. I try to be very aware of how events are traced physically and emotionally - both violent and non-violent (passive). Even years after an event, feelings remain. I assemble and harness my feelings and my reflections on historical & autobiographical events by creating books and paintings that have the aura of those feelings imprinted on their surfaces.