Artist Statement

I am interested in the physical, cultural and political structures that humans create, and how they have affected my personal history and women in contemporary society. Expressing these interests and communicating this through my work is essential.

My work is also guided and shaped by materials I find in my immediate environment. Collecting materials in this way began in graduate school while I was living in an urban area. Deconstruction sites and scrap yards were fertile grounds. I combined these materials with clay, cement and wood to create numerous installations and outdoor sculptures. Living now in a rural area I have become immersed in the natural world in a very personal way. This has led to an intense awareness of the potential use of everything that lives and dies on the land. Using algae, seedpods, roots, reeds, thorn bushes and other natural materials, I have created a series of animal/plant hybrids and other work that is inspired by the repetition, systems and patterning in nature. Close observation of the structure and movement of flora and fauna has led to creating objects that, like newly discovered species are at once familiar and foreign.

Glimpses of animals camouflaged by the trees and brush, observing their trails, nests and migrations, insect casings, ice storms and many unexpected events on the land are resources for my work. These are translated into forms that reflect my consuming interests in how we relate to our natural world and the relationship between human and animal behavior.

Elaborating and developing my visual vocabulary has led to papermaking. Using plant materials, fibers from palm trees, and my collection of scrap metal, new forms have emerged. Reaching for the potential in paper, stretching it out of its traditional postures and pursuing my personal vision are issues that inform my current work. The materials are vehicles that allow me to create forms that explore my personal life, transformations, challenges and the adventure of continual growth.

Working at the Southwest School of Art and Craft in 2006, I began a series of pieces that relate to protective coverings such as shields and armor. Illusions of comfort and safety are present. The series of paper forms cast on bedsprings explore the way we unconsciously use everyday objects as protection/shields. The layers of meaning and emotional content present in these images are related to my personal history, losing my birth family, adoption, finding my birth family and other close relationships.