My work deals with the familiarity of the act of expression through the occurrence of the artist’s relationship with place. I am often concerned with environmental context and materials. The perception of all of the materials I use and installations I create are comments of how I understand my own life and how it could be valued in our culture. In creating spaces and choosing materials I am not asking “why am I here” but rather asking, “what is my purpose.” I work with an extended vocabulary of media and techniques so that I may I take a more diverse path of making pieces and installations to express myself. I feel that being too defined by any one material is not the best path for me to have a viable relevance in environmental and contemporary art culture. These varied processes and effects have aided in the evolution of my work to come together in overriding themes of subject rather than just a symbol system of less connected works. It is the process of working and researching that has a great importance to my own individuality and spiritual life. 

I often work with wooden staffs, walking sticks and trees because to me they suggest some of the qualities of being conscious. Each piece of wood has its own personality and clear biological connection to the environment it is in. In the grain of wood an annual passage of time is recorded. Though out my educational and media cultural experience I have come to understand that every wrinkle in our brain represents a synapses of something we have learned or a long-term memory. This helps to illustrate that many ways things can grow, layer and crease in the marking of time and events. When working I take pleasure in planting seeds, wrapping and sewing thread, making paper, mark making and using any method and means that can be appropriated. In the construction of the “Tree Boat Installations” and the “Tree/Trail Marker Sculptures” the various mixed media include felled and discarded young trees within there own environment. These trees are used and altered to expose their transitory state in nature where they come together to function as a kind of instantaneous symbol of growth. 

There are times when I simply go outside and pick up the dirt, the sand, and the snow or collect the water. For a number of years I have been working with different sympathetic organizations and groups of people in making, accumulating and arranging hand held ball shaped elements and using them in installations that inevitably evolve into a different states by the forces of nature. The dirt balls are sewn with seed so that they will grow grass, the sand balls are made to blow away and the snow and ice balls melt into puddles and evaporate. When I place these balls together there is a strong element of play linking me to past experiences of making mud pies and working in my grandmothers’ fields and gardens. In contrast to these natural elements I have also done experimental casting with the recycled aluminum. I revel in the practice of using fire to cast the molten metal, not for the creation of a statue but more directly for the experience of witnessing the metal’s reaction to other materials and patinas. 

When working with used and discarded objects and not knowing their exact history there is a moment of discovery that can become a suspenseful and exciting distortion. There are references to many of my experiences and interpretations of objects in these different installations. I research the history of other peoples’ things to discover what the use and meaning of the object was directly to each person as well as the thing’s cultural connection. 

In distinct mark-making I have done and in the public or hidden spaces I have worked in, it is not my desire to tell the viewer what to see, but merely to have them interact with all of these elements and on some level begin to recognize some of their own environment and stories. It is often good for us all to reflect on the varied perceptions of the constant struggles between man and nature, beauty and form. We need to keep trying to understand our relationship to our environment so we can begin to understand our wants and desires as we travel through life.

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