Altered, Ardent, Afraid--Artist Statement Spring 2018

The world is tipping. I’m in a glass box. I’m swimming, I’m outside of everything. Did this happen yesterday? I’m melting. My body is melting, why can’t anyone see me? Why can’t anyone hear me? My body is slow. I’m underwater again.

Dreams, nightmares, and dissociation have leaked their way into my reality. I might be walking amongst a crowd, driving past apartment buildings, or visiting with friends when I am thrown into a feeling of virtual or false reality. Upon more research, I have learned that this feeling is often accompanied by long-term anxiety, stress, or trauma. I am perplexed and I am lost, so I paint. I paint to understand my own language, my own responses to pains and joys, and to force myself to address the complex structure of my lived experiences.

I leave tape, negative space, sketch marks and interrupted form on my canvases to emphasize my process. Typically, bright blue painters tape or charcoal would be ripped off or cleaned up for a final piece. I parallel my mark making with my fractured reality by leaving layers of various materials exposed. I also challenge myself to embrace confusion by exploring unique ways of interacting with the paint and the canvas. I use diluted and thinned oil paints to slightly forgo my authority in order to let the paint drip at its own will. This technique not only creates a more distant rendering of the subject, but the process itself resists my personal clarity, control and authorship. My process articulates the detachment, disorientation, and brokenness behind struggling to express personal emotion.

I have always had a strong yearning to connect with a wide variety of human narratives. I want to understand my own responses to fear, pain and trauma in order to understand the impact of tragedy on our collective whole. By studying storytelling, human rights narratives, and expressions of trauma I have made clear connections between my personal artistic expression and universal artistic expressions. I attempt to make myself vulnerable in my work in hopes to connect with my audience. I want to begin a dialogue about the power creative expression holds in our collective understanding of tragedy, disaster, human rights and eventual progress.