These works are inspired by imagining places that exist in in-between states of decay and new life. Working in various mediums including ceramics, acrylic paint on canvas and watercolor paint on paper and yupo, the works use the fluidity inherent in the mediums to blend abstraction and representation of organic material and the human form.
For the acrylic paintings on canvas, I use layers of watered down acrylic to build the surface and images of the paintings. Some layers are completely buried while others have various levels of visibility. These layered marks blend together to make yet another image. For example in the piece “White,” watercolor on paper sits a top a layer of white Yupo paper painted with watercolor. Beneath the Yupo is another layer of paper collage. In my ceramic sculptures, I take advantage of the natural movement of the clay to make organic forms, decaying skulls, and emerging hands from undefined shapes.
The works depict amorphous forms that appear to be moving - whether floating in space, or spilled on the ground. Embedded within or emerging from these forms are microorganisms, touching hands, and growing crystals. I use bright whites, dark blacks, earth and flesh tones with occasional flashes of bright neon yellows, greens, purples and blues. The colors connect to the earth, body and magic.
My process begins with the imagining of mysterious life forms that grow in a dark cave, creep through the forest floor, gather in shadows, or as microorganisms creating new life. These are magical places where life begins again in mysterious ways. I think of outer space, the depths of the ocean and the first forms of life, and how these vast spaces relate back to our experiences of birth and death. These images often connect back to the body through exploration of sex and reproductive organs. My work functions as a metaphor for hope and magic in the darkness of loss.
The motivation behind these works is a fascination with the unavoidable cycles of life one encounters. There is a beauty in birth and tragedy and pain in loss. In loss, one searches for understanding and hope. These works seek to find the specific and uneasy beauty that only loss can create. I’ve found a morbid magic in imagining what is created, or what is left, after a loved one is gone. I imagine the regeneration that can come from my loved ones’ bodies and visualize how their spirits might live on.
This is how I land in spaces of infinite depth and infinitesimal growth. Asking what grows in unknown spaces beside detritus. This body of work is ultimately about healing. Through the acknowledgment and representation of magic, I explore ways to relate to life after loss.