Trial and Ruse, 2017-18
In a court of law, relying solely on memory is highly unreliable. I was drawn to these discarded trial documentation photographs of wrecked cars with the same fascination and queasiness an actual accident elicits. I use the car crashes to embody catastrophe or any painful past or present adversity imbedded in the psyche. I obscure but never fully obliterate the image with mixed media, carved lines and collage. The layered altered images represent how we tackle unbearable memories to make them tolerable and find resolution.
“When we are young we are a jungle of complications.”
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
The complexity of memory, particularly the potency of earliest experiences and how these inform adult identity, is a primary focus of my mixed media work. Childhood is innocent and benign yet often fraught with fear and anxiety. The physiology of memory lies at the center of our identity, determining who we are and who we become.
Additionally, I am interested in the complex relationship between humans and animals and our connection to our instinctive animal nature. Depending on cultural heritage and convictions, certain animals are exalted, revered, protected, feared, reviled, or loved as family members while others are thought of as commodities to be used for food, man’s bidding for labor or scientific research.
My mother died in 2016 evoking strong memories. These were further rekindled in discovering my childhood stuffed animals that she had packed away. Compelled to act upon the formidable feelings that my mother’s death and finding these objects aroused in me, I combined the found toys with some of my own childhood drawings to make a new body of works on paper, Childworks. This new work continues an ongoing investigation into memory, childhood and our human/animal nature.
The Recollections explores the complexity of memory, particularly the potency of earliest experiences and how these inform adult identity. Childhood is innocent and benign yet often fraught with fear and anxiety. The interiors and outdoor places of youth - the arenas where our impressionable young lives played out - exist now only as fragmented memories, and these I recreate as visual memoir.
The chalkboard Adages stem from the thrill of drawing on the blackboard as a young Catholic school student. It was a privilege to get to use colored chalk to decorate the blackboard perimeter with a few lines written in perfect penmanship and a little drawing to add some flair.