Through my artwork I explore themes related to environment, nature, pattern and place. My work begins with a deeply felt connection to the natural world and rises up from my exploration of it.
Bearing witness to haphazard wonders in both nature and in constructed “nature-like” environments, my activity of taking pictures creates a visual diary – it illuminates my position within the natural world while documenting changing evidence of the ordinary and the astonishing. Whether jellyfish from an aquarium or Lady Slippers from the Appalachian Trail, the pictures become part of a library of remembrances stored for a later date when they might possibly be reorganized and composited. This photographic journal keeping forms a personal, arbitrary, asymmetrical time chart that is deeply resonant for me and key to my understanding of what it means to be alive and of this world.
Although the source of my work is a wandering discipline of collecting, the final results are fabricated constructions. Densely ornamental, my artwork refers to the interior decoration documents of Britain’s Aesthetic Movement, to natural history painting and dioramas, and to Dutch still life painting.“Naturalistic” is imposed on nature; time is suspended.
I present work in several different ways: as solitary, “almost” repeating patterns; as stand-alone tapestry-like designs; as still life; and as floor to ceiling sections, or “specimen panels” that combine patterns with “trompe l’oeil” mouldings, borders and friezes. Many are layered over designs by William Morris, Ernst Haeckel and others. These backgrounds provide a formal, organizing armature. Although traces remain visible, the past is abandoned in favor of improvisational detail and elaborate surfaces.
Lighting effects that spark and bend have become part of recent work. What I am looking to communicate are those flashes of momentary connectedness with nature that are like “shining from shook foil” — when the walking-stick insect steps out from its camouflage and becomes wildly recognizable when just an instant before it was not detected.
The use of pattern and composition tames these experiences but transcendental connection to wildness remains felt and awaits expression. It is my purpose to draw the viewer into a local world as it hasn’t been seen before, to create a context for connection—charged with wonder—richly complex while being inclusive and accessible.