My art is the result of an ongoing conversation cultivated by the people and circumstances within my community. Materials and subjects are selected based on daily conversations with others and internal reflections. These engagements emerge into topics of concern, including politics and unexpected life events. I carefully select materials and piece them together in order to support the dialogue and developing ideas.
Cardboard Signs represents the socioeconomic divide that is prevalent and disconcerting within my community. I began understanding this separation when I moved to Southern Connecticut to teach in the public school system. I designed pieces that were constructed around the concepts of capitalism and class separation because this divide had never been so clear to me before. Oil paintings of opulent foods and ads from high fashion magazines were appropriated onto manipulated pieces of cardboard to depict parallel groups living together. Cardboard was symbolically chosen to represent the disenfranchised, while the oil paintings convey the economically rich.
Recently, an unexpected medical condition that my father struggled with provoked me to take on a more personal approach to my art making. I began designing pieces about him and the place where I grew up. I chose materials that were reflective of his life as a carpenter and the issues he was coping with. I gathered his broken tools: electric saws, extension cords and drills that could no longer serve their purpose. I installed these objects in ways that revealed their end. I am drawn to the way a hanging saw creates a relationship between morbidness and peacefulness. I continue to search for ways to present these tensions.
On my trips back home to visit my father, I became aware of the fallen barns that once stood in the community in which I grew up. These structures have remained on the ground since the record-breaking New England snowstorm of October 2011. I have always been attracted to how these fallen barns have laid untouched amongst the open fields. Overgrown wildflowers cover these decrepit buildings with new life. I decided to take some of the pieces from these broken structures and resuscitate them through my artwork. As my father began to recover, I started to develop pieces that were less focused on destruction and more focused on healing. Light was carefully introduced to inform the viewer of optimism within these desolate and dilapidated arrangements, revealing glimpses of peace.
As I reflect on occurrences within my community and personal life, my art practice represents these conversations through the synthesis of content and materials.