My work comes from a desire to be awestruck, to experience beauty and mystery in the world. I remember feeling that way as a child, and I see my own young child’s sense of wonder at new experiences. By contrast, in my daily life I often find myself observing that sense of wonder second-hand through books, internet images, and news stories. Through the making of my works on paper and sculptural installations, I am able to explore those awe-inspiring subjects and places—a cross-section of a giant tree, the gradations of light in a dark room, or the seemingly infinite beauty of a canopy of leaves—and regain a sense of that wonder first-hand.
In my two-dimensional works I play with how much detail is necessary to create a sense of drama and place. Distinctly rendered areas give way to planes of flat color or bleeding washes. In this way my drawings reference memory, where some aspects of a moment are remembered is sharp detail, while what surrounds the detail is unclear. In my series Blinds, I directly address the sense of being separated from experiences with watercolor paintings of imagined landscapes—a shipwreck, a burning building, a field of flowers, a crowd of people—are obscured by the bars of vertical blinds in a linocut-printed flat pastel apartment. Framing each image, the blinds create a series of visions caught between claustrophobia and escape.
My sculptures and installations contain the pictorial, evocative and narrative qualities of my drawings that have grown beyond the space of the paper into something more experiential. In exploring this relationship between the two and three-dimensions I often use materials or techniques in my sculptures that reference the flatness and construction of drawing and painting such as stretched canvas, paper, or silhouette drawings. Depending on the needs of a project, I research the practical ways that other fields of handcraft, theatrical design, museum diorama, toy and furniture-making construct objects. I’m interested in the tension and humor that develops between the transportive representation and the handmade construction of these sculptures.
My most recent work, Canopy, is a kinetic mobile made of handmade translucent green paper leaves and dowels painted brown. Light shifts slowly through the rustling leaves as the sculpture continuously changes size and shape. Canopy celebrates the expanse of a canopy of leaves, with its myriad small moving parts creating a complete whole, and embraces the absurdity of attempting to recreate the perfection of nature.