The well of historical techniques I draw from is deep. So is my connection to those who came before me; to people who infused everyday objects with that which we call the self. Freed from making useful objects, (printing information, spinning yarn to weave with, sewing clothes) I am able to explore with abandon, trying to work at the intersection of intention and accident.
Hundreds of tiny stitches, none of them necessary, miles of thread crocheted and stretched, fiber felted and spun, fabric dyed and printed with discarded pieces of older “unfinished” work. I do it because I do it. Whenever I ask myself “Why do you sew this with a hundred stitches when you can use a glue gun?” I am reminded that I have spent hours upon hours sitting on a cushion meditating asking myself essentially the same question.
The materials I work with feel organic and most of them are (sheep’s wool, silk, cotton, linen). I have the illusion that they whisper to me what they want to become. I have no idea some days how I’ve gone from point A to point B. Each piece is akin to a walk along a path I’ve never visited before; what you see are the found objects of my internal wanderings.
Observing nature and reality is a great intrigue to me, whether it is through drawing or meditation. There really isn’t that much difference between the two. When I’m in the flow of drawing something or somebody, time moves differently. My senses are heightened. Even if I’m drawing a rock, if I am getting it right, I become that rock. There is no separation between myself and other.
My observing eye is highly flawed. I am keenly aware of this when I draw. I see double. There are no straight lines. Everything is in flux. I have believed that this is the reason I became fascinated with contour and line drawing when I was young. In addition, I didn’t (and still do not) believe that observing, describing and depicting reality is a simple act of trying to capture the image as a camera does. As Susan Sontag has written of, this way of seeing is something we have learned through photography.
I learned, through portraiture, that there is always something about a person’s face that marks who they are. It is not a scar or an crooked nose, though there are those specific things. The personality enlivens the face. It is there in a leaf or a rock or a twig, though I do not know what it is.