As an artist my work extends out of American folk art and craft traditions and takes shape in a range of mediums including drawing, collage, sculpture, installation and public projects. San Francisco, California became my home in the early 1990’s, a dynamic time within the Bay Area when the arts community was thriving with overlapping circles of artists, writers, dancers and musicians who were motivated to make work that involved a spirit of collectivism and a dismantling of all kinds of outdated hierarchies. While focusing on my own studio practice, I’ve also regularly collaborated with other artists and makers over the years.
In the studio I’ve always been inclined to work by hand and to maintain an intimate connection to materials. Much of what I make is tactile and involves meditative or repetitive processes. I tend to work with a variety of hundreds of very small elements that come together to make a larger piece once assembled.
In 2006 I began a series of collages that borrow methodology from pictorial and illustrative textiles. In making these pieces, each foreground element is hand-cut and painted with watercolor and gouache, with the addition of pinpricks and minute hole punched papers adhered one dot at a time to the surface of the paper. The pieces from this series connect to anthropomorphic fables, the natural world, and textile traditions with a lineage of telling symbolic stories and carrying encoded messages. Clouds, storm patterns, constellations, birds, insects, flora and fantastic animals populate these early works in abundance. Several of these works are in hospital collections throughout the country, including San Francisco General Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic.
Recently, I’ve been focused on a series of collages, wall pieces and wood sculptures that draw upon the patterns and iconography of 18th and 19th century American quilts. Many of these pieces are rooted in the same base pattern, the eight-pointed star, and take on a variety of incarnations, some of which play with the quilt as if rooted in the realm of architecture, incorporating light, shadow and site-specificity. Grounded in craft and domesticity, this work also upholds the history of quilt-making as a forerunner to the modern and contemporary movements of minimalism, geometric abstraction, Op art and feminist art.
Part of the intention of my practice is to form connections between the past and the future, the intimate and the spectacular. The overarching theme of my current work, ALL FOR ONE FOR ALL, refers to the potential for endless variation within a single pattern and the dynamics of repetition, as well toward a social philosophy that desires more equality in the world at large. Culling from a compendium of patterns and craft practices that were freely shared amongst everyday people for centuries and transforming this imagery into new incarnations, I’m interested generating associations across time and between disciplines of creative activity.