Artist Statement: House Home
House Home: Digital video, 3min. 2016
House Home (solo burn): Digital photograph on metal, 20” H x 16” W, 2016
House Home (Remnant from Performance on the Prairie, Hays, Kansas, 2012): Wood, corn, glue, string, mirror, 2016
The Dairy Arts Center, Boulder, Colorado
I believe that art and education are uniquely associated and recognize the engagement of visual and verbal communication as integral to the art making process entailing the social practice of sculpture. Sculpture and in particular foundry practice thrills me. Foundry (fire and molten metal) reaches all audiences in its primal and self-explanatory way. Iron casting is a shared instinctive practice and a blooming “sub-culture” that has generated the founding of the Western Cast Iron Art Alliance, an eclectic group of iron artists from across the western regions of the United States. The WCIAA, of which I am a founding member, hosted iron conferences in Denver, Colorado; Missoula, Montana; Hays, Kansas, Laramie, Wyoming, and the upcoming fifth biennial conference is scheduled in November 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. www.wciaa.org
The video footage documents a performance occurring at the Hays, Kansas conference. Molten iron is poured into each hollow house structure and fire allowed to consume the form. The houses are constructed from wood and corn. This work is a critique on many things but primarily uses the symbolic image of a house to examine word play between “House” and “Home.” In doing so I am critiquing personal relationships and our cultural landscape. Fire represents a spiritual cleansing as I endeavored to let go of past history along with weighty accrued detritus from twenty years of creating three-dimensional works and large-scale installations. The corn and wood panels were utilized in several prior exhibition formats before becoming house structures. One structure interestingly survived the Performance on the Prairie burn.
Artist Statement: Seed Wallpaper
Installation dimensions: 17’ H x 6’ W
The Dairy Arts Center, Boulder, Colorado
Materials: Various seeds, honey, spices.
In a politically charged society where traditions continue to metamorphose I investigate the female position in domestic and social situations. I consider how my reality is affected by environment and experience. Art making externalizes my personal experience. My perspective changes when immersion in planning and creation is transfigured and idea becomes image removed from my person. Fused together within a work are new questions of memory, identity and fact that contribute to my research.
This work, Seed Wallpaper, stems from my respect and fascination for wallpaper. William Morris hand-printed wallpapers to peeling remnants preserved in homes from the 1800’s are all stimulus for my imagery. Pattern is orderly and obsessive, decorative and subject to fashion. Often insanely dominant in a room I believe the role of décor in the home to be symbolic witness to the human condition. On one hand we have our instincts, on the other the social constructs we apply to control. Nature, the act of being natural, the fertility, fecundity of the earth is symbolized in the way we decorate our homes with motifs and images of the exterior, the outdoors. It is one of the ways in which we impose our own dictums on our surrounds, a subject that intrigues me. I believe in the importance of critiquing the verisimilitude and aesthetic we incorporate in our homes, our domestic reconstructions and artificial simulations of nature.
Seed Wallpaper is a reiteration of an installation at RedLine that occurred in 2010 in conjunction with the Biennial of The Americas. The exhibition, Artists Footprints, curated by Viviane Le Courtois, entrusted each participant with the responsibility of generating an artwork with a sustainable footprint. I enjoy these wallpapers (Seed & Yellow) for their direct association to the kitchen and domestic chores such as cleaning and cooking. Also the versatile use of non-traditional materials such as spices, seeds, and honey speaks to the varied use of media in my work which ranges from cast iron to found objects and is decidedly non-discriminatory. Wallpaper encapsulates memories and nuances of the home, and as in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s authorship of The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), is also indicative of cerebral mayhem and domestic imbalances that are hidden behind the closed doors of the home.