A central aspect of my work is contrast, in material and concept. I began combining images and objects inspired by punk 'zines and outsider art. I went on to earn an MFA, but my undergraduate degree in Biology also inspired me - I began using found materials after a Conservation Corps job fishing colorful trash from streams. Growing up in an educated military family, I was intrigued by humanity’s potential for creativity, measured against its penchant for destruction and cruelty. My appreciation of humor and absurdity in art and life is ongoing. Juxtaposing disparate elements mirrors the layering of experience creating the self. I invite the viewer to add new interpretations to the connections I make.
My “River” assemblage was commissioned by a hospital renovation program, through a call for art from the brokerage company Corporate Art Force. The hospital liked my earlier “Bitter Buds” hanging assemblage, where I contrasted native cultural materials of found wood and bark with EuroAmerican metal parts fallen from cars. That piece was created for a the “Bitter” Valentine’s show at Prove Collective in Duluth, and I used the metal to depict the bitter-sensing region of the tongue. The hospital’s interest was in the meditative and healing aspects of nature, so I constructed the “River” out of found wood and bark, ironically heat-treated and varnish-sealed to take any stray life out of it.
Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine: Vol. 4:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/survive_thrive/vol4/iss1/4