I create abstracted modular sculptures, assemblages, and collages that playfully reference utility, using a wide range of salvaged materials and carefully fabricated objects. I also maintain a practice as a ceramic sculptor and potter. I am interested in the language of the vessel and embrace how layers of form and texture can be built with the clay and glaze materials. My pottery is largely concerned with turning the experience I have making sculptures, and what inspires them, into a visual and tactile experience that can be a part of the home in a very different way than other art forms. My work, both pottery and sculpture, prioritizes composition with an emphasize on form, color, and texture. I create architectural ceramic forms that use curvilinear volumes and exaggerated proportions to create an engaging sense of tension and dynamism. My work creates a visual narrative of the pieces being built up and broken down simultaneously.
The sculptures I create exist to tell stories. I considerately compose my sculptures using my own sensibility of formal language, elevating the materials with a determined focus on how each disparate part connects to the next to create a whole. I have a reverence for all of the objects and materials I use, no matter their origin, and thoroughly consider how each of their forms, textures, colors, weights and other formal qualities integrate into a whole. By using materials in unexpected ways and many materials that may not usually be considered “art materials” in holistic pieces and as a greater approach to creating work as an artist, I am dismantling or flattening material hierarchy. My intention is for this to lead the viewer to reconsider the world around them and to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, ignored, and/or abject. With the use of recognizable utilitarian objects or components the sculptures take on an implied function. The work creates a space for the viewer to pay attention, and to really consider what they are seeing. The work is centered around the idea of agency and the vitality in seeing potential in the abject. This agency is displayed by the figure of the ragpicker, the djobbeur, and the bricoleur as tropes of reclamation resonate deeply with me. These figures take action with urgency in the face of adversity. I understand these figures as timeless, their responses to reality perpetually relevant in our world and my own as an individual with consistent experiences of trauma, and adversity. I do see myself as a bricoleur, though I know that I do not live with the level of deprivation that these historical figures did.
My work often takes off from the interactions I have with decaying architecture, that I collect, record, and treasure. I feel a similar sense of urgency, desperation, and adaptation in these architectural structures as I do in both the process of my work, and the actions of the ragpicker 1, djoubbeur 2, and bricoleur 3. These structures, held up solely by determination, clinging to the last shreds of life, provide moments of reciprocal buoyancy. Starting from my chest to my toes, my whole body feels the built-up textures in these all but inadvertent compositions with their once whole windows and rusty hinges. Their precarious existence is mirrored by that of the physically and visually balanced sculptures in my work, the reality of relationships, and the stability of life. The accumulation of decay is a form of growth and comfort is found in how these structures and I rest in our ability to crumble. I might be one of few to spend time considering these homes and sheds but the beauty, solace, and resonance they give me in return is ineffable. The sense of wonder, captivation, and compassion I feel when getting to know these structures echoes what I experience as I interact with, learn from, and care for people as a teacher, caregiver, friend, and fellow human.
1 A ragpicker or chiffonnier is someone who makes a living by collecting and salvaging refuse materials and scraps of cloth left in the streets.
2 Translates to day laborer, historically a person living/working on a plantation who would carry out handyman jobs on plantation as the people living there needed, using what they had available.
3 Bricolage means a (in art or literature) construction or creation from a diverse range of available things. The bricoleur is someone who uses a wide range of available things to create something. Bricoleur translates to handyman in French.
Below is a preview to a google drive folder with many examples of the photos I've taken of buildings and houses in the various places I have lived. To see these photos up close click the box-arrow in the top right corner of the scrolling grid of thumbnail images.
I love these scenes.
Reciprical moments of bouyancy.
The ineffable experience of relating to something so much the moment becomes reciprocal.