I have been selected as a participant in the 2018 GLEAN Artist Residency, salvaging materials from the local waste stream to create a body of work. A dream come true for a lifelong picker like myself, I am using the opportunity to create a body of work that moves away from my more typical wall-based work to more sculptural forms.
Boats are storied human objects, culturally ubiquitous, recognizable forms rife with association. They are vessels that carry us, and their recognizable form and implied transitional narrative combine in sculptural objects to tell stories that are both individual and highly relatable.
I am interested in boats as forms symbolic of voyages — ferrying us from one stage of life to the next, stowed with the things we choose to carry with us, or tangled in the things we choose to leave behind. Much of my past work deals with transition, grief, and loss of innocence or childhood, using the objects left behind to create visual narratives relating to life events.
Pairing skin-on-frame boatbuilding—where cloth skins a skeletal armature—with found, historied textiles creates objects representative of human experience: navigating life, skinned in the identities we create for ourselves.
Over time, these skins wear out, are repaired, breach or hold fast. The threads of memory remind us and others who we are, but memories change upon recall. Some memories are literally stitched into treasured objects, some are loose, without anchor. Some serve us, and some harm us. Some tangle, some snag, some buoy, some drift away.