I have been painting. Painting is a language that is forged out of confronting risk and the inevitable process of building and destroying. It is a kind of mirror. I am interested in perception, and how both painting and the photographic process is used to affect or direct how we see. My work refers to materiality and aspects of life such as loss and growth, and the images serve as a reflection of internal experience, expressing symbols and metaphor.
The series Disaster is a group of paintings where I use photographs of disaster events or their aftermath as a reference for the basic structure, then overlay this foundation with imagery that explores the local mountain landscape. Each of the disaster images provides access to moments that have not been widely seen before our era of ubiquitous photography. The images contain subjects that are beautiful and traumatic, essential and horrific. The framework of disaster imagery, as I continue to paint, is eventually both revised and obliterated with personal imagery, transformed with new meaning, often with remnants of the original image remaining. This process refers more broadly to the way trauma as a disruptor forces an evolution of renewal and replacement, which is built upon the basic reality of the trauma.
I have extensively photographed the local Virginia mountain forest and rural landscape in both digital and Polaroid format. These images, along with found images, are frequently used in the paintings as collage or collage-like elements that work both as an image disruptor and completer. Various parts of the paintings are points of visual focus. This mirrors the photographic process itself, which is a method of capturing selected images from a place, then usually, placing them and viewing them in a new context. These placements start to form a narrative, and amid areas of clarity and ambiguity, objects and patterns emerge.
My art practice has not taken a linear road. My work includes Polaroid and digital photography, printmaking, ceramics, and painting, and I have shown my work in each of those media. I have an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles; have worked as an art handler and curatorial associate at a contemporary art museum; and have owned a business designing and producing wheel-thrown pottery.