Installation at Washington State University, Fine Arts Building, the room under the stairs.
I once told a friend that I would like to burn down a house and organize the parts in tidy rows to examine the inner workings of what it was made of. She pulled away from me in mock horror and then laughed at the absurdity of the idea because she knows I’m not really a wannabe arsonist. So, then what compelled me to want to destroy something in order to understand it?
The act of destruction is often the beginning of my creative process. By boiling organic materials down to a concentrated liquid, pulverizing rocks into pigment powders, ripping things apart, or breaking imagery down to its basic linear forms, I decipher and analyze their basic matter while also photographing my processes to record the ways the materials morph over time. The act of distilling something down to its essence or speeding up the process of entropy is a way to quickly bear witness to change, decay, and transformation.
The imagery within my work is often related to the home or domesticity, but it is made up of broken or derelict remnants. There are upholstery samples that will never be adorned on a beloved chair, pages from a how-to book that has been dissected and placed in test tubes, book covers ripped inside out, broken sewing machines, charred fence posts, and blueprints of inverted homes. These items speak to the hopes of what was and evidence of lives that no longer exist.
The processes I embrace require adaptability and surrender of control. I leave room for chance to play an active role in my work as a way to accept things that I cannot change. These acts of experimentation and the repetitive and therapeutic nature of the work is more important than the finished product itself as is sharing my ideas with others via community workshops and classes. By repeating the same process over and over, I find patterns of behaviors, anomalies, and revelations that are often at the core of what I do.
These pseudo experiments reflect how a scientist would collect evidence, but I am not interested in scientifically grounded data so much as the formal elements of categorizing, organizing, and making sense of the true nature of these materials. This impetus to destroy or burn also comes from a desire to cleanse. By carefully displaying and curating my materials, I take back a little of the control I let go of at the beginning. What is born is a balance between order and chaos that I try to mimic in my everyday life.