Current work focuses on the blurred boundaries between the natural and human-made worlds, and the shifting texture and text of language. This is an unprecedented time of threatened species extinction, both animal and plant. Artifacts too are becoming outdated overnight. The destruction and obsolescence of objects, habitats, and the habits and dignity of human labor and culture is palpable everywhere.
Re-imagining objects with absurdist logic invents an antidote packed with a pleasurable sting. I do not try to disguise the original provenance of my materials, objects or influences, but draw them into new, often surprising, contexts and associations. The wording of a wooden asparagus crate, Long green California asparagus, gave me an anagram, Lifelong paranoia graces us. I painted a still life of asparagus more appropriate for the anagram and then reassembled the crate lettering around the painting. Some asparagus are more toxic than others.
Painting, drilling, carving, joining and severing, adding and subtracting, wordplay - all contribute to surreal twists and unexpected ends. A dismembered table leg became a prosthetic limb with driftwood toes and a rotating patella. Architectural molding salvaged from a demolished house revealed an extinct New Zealand owl called Laughing Owl. Aging duck decoys get rehab and new identities after defecting from the duck hunting cause. Now a thriving herd of Bison, they are delegates for the 30 million bison slaughtered almost to extinction after the European colonization of North America. I call this pacifist action to upgrade decoys Unkilling.
My work becomes a repository for memories and a fictive substitute or displacement for what is lost or unacceptable - a hybrid of technical processes, materials, and narratives. It honors a practice and learning of skills, particularly making things by hand and remembering the disappearing trades and integrity of anonymous artisans. I am drawn to the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi – the acceptance of beauty as imperfect, idiosyncratic and incomplete. The experiences of living and working in different countries and being an occupational therapist influence and guide my art. All of them imperfect and incomplete.