What we Feed, Grows

The theme of this year’s MayDay parade was ‘What we Feed, Grows’. And as I’m breathing in moist Spring air, fragrant with fertility, listening to the sounds of birds wooing each other; I have budding intentions myself. After Winter’s dormant research phase, idea-seeds have swelled, sent out roots and shoots, and will bear fruit in due course this Summer. If they are tended well and weather permits, creative outputs will grow, yielding their own form of nutrition. Filling a need for storytelling and meaning, the folk arts cycle with the seasons. 

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Seeing Signs

Initiated by my Daughter’s severe Childhood Apraxia of Speech, a large part of the journey this work has taken me on has been about communication. Through the use of symbols and sign language, we have learned to understand each other better, but there are still large gaps to be filled in, particularly around more subtle or complex desires and ideas that she has no way of expressing. This has been a huge challenge for her self-advocacy efforts, and often ends in tears and stomping fits that I find myself ill-equipped to diffuse. But the experience has helped me come to appreciate how much the able-bodied world takes for granted, and how little we appreciate the uphill battle that is experienced by the disabled. Every. Single. Day. 

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Alter Pieces

Grasping at a universal lattice of some kind, these studies in pencil and paint on panel are a way to examine the boxes we create or involuntarily find ourselves within. Each cell is populated with it’s own color, influencing the energy of that space. Only when we step outside of those boxes can we see greater patchwork patterns emerge. An aerial photograph of any human settlement will reveal a pattern of change imposed upon the landscape. The same kinds of patterns are employed inside of our technologies, embedded in social structures and modes of thinking. We compartmentalize information, emotions, nature and reality inside of billions and billions of known quantities, but miss all of the space in between. I think there’s more to explore than just boxes, and I’m using these Alter-pieces as a way to map and escape the way we limit our experience.

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