Artist Statement

My art is inspired by my experience. Materials carry an unwritten message; they have a social function in the world. In my work I exploit that function, allowing layered interpretations to occur. I work from the personal, cultural, and historical perspectives, incorporating elements from each domain into one piece.

Starting my career with drawing and collage, I began cutting letters from advertisements and collaging them randomly to signify communication, or to express confusion. Eventually I moved to stenciling the alphabet onto drywall/Sheetrock. The letters are outlines, overlapped and unreadable. I changed graphite density to create an illusion of space within the piece and changed letter sizes to create a sense of depth. The piece contains no complete sentence. It leaves no information for the viewer, even while letters appear to invite. This creates tension.

Text refers to emotion without giving a figurative example of situations that create emotional reaction. My work on Sheetrock is a commentary on many levels. We have become too casual with our materials and too quickly throw them into a landfill. Sheetrock is a marginal material. It has value and it has no value, it’s important for building shelter but not as home decoration. It offers duplicity, of attraction and repulsion, amazement and distrust, and it allows me to play with that tension in my art. Additionally, Sheetrock represents access to sound by providing a surface for sound waves, which directly affects our ability to hear words. This work represents my frustration with a hearing loss that distorts my understanding.

Combining art materials with cast-off material (often considered “trash”) has been my identifying trait as an artist because cast-off material represents who I am as someone with a birth defect. I feel lucky to be living in times where birth defects can be repaired. My specialty as instructor has been teaching how to create art by using reclaimed materials to build a new interpretation.