artist statement

Gestural Objects

(Artist Statement in progress…as always)

“Large things tend to be unwieldy, clumsy, crude;
smallness is the realm of elegance and grace.” -Steven Millhauser

Smallness lends itself to being sweet and modest. It is not clouded by grandeur or overarching themes. It is simply what it is, but by being so poignant it is able to transcend itself.

My work explores the meaning of small gestures. What does it mean to part window blinds or for a railing to point upward? Many of these gestures exist in the peripheral and unconscious part of our lives, therefore our understanding of them is base level, inside you (imagine a hand to chest tap), resistant to language.

I use cyclical motion as a vehicle to a meditative state. The simple gesture of pull strings moving slowly up and down a white gallery wall repeatedly suggest “…on…off…on…off…on…off…” in a chant like manner to the point where the viewer stops thinking about the string and motion but something beyond that tapping into memory and experience. The relatability of the objects I use helps build connections to the work. I have often been struck by the way authors connect with the reader by inserting a very relatable description of an object or gesture. They are both allusive and familiar at the same time drawing the reader more personally into the story line.* No longer are you just following the authors train of thought, you are now running parallel with your own experience.

There are things that are impossible to hold onto. They slip through your fingers, flash before your eyes or hover in the spaces between. It is because you can’t hold them that they are beautiful. Weaving in and out of clarity. Existent, but difficult to get a clear handle on. Fog does this, memory does this, veils do this. It’s more beautiful to leave room for the mind to guess and imagine than to be completely clear.

*References of allusive and familiar gestures in literature that have stuck with me
1. “A biscuit, crushed into the slush of a Kentucky Fried Chicken parking lot.” J. Robert Lennon “Accursed Items”
2. The color yellow in the Great Gatsby
3. Tan lines in John Updike’s “A&P”
4. Grandmother rolling her eyes in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Simultaneous Peripheral Observation

In the space between tactility and language the beautiful and unassuming linger. They exist in the peripheral, weaving in and out of clarity, difficult to get a clear handle on, resistant to words. There is room for the mind to guess and imagine. With a skepticism in the ability of language to contain our bodily experiences of the world, I create objects, drawings and images that speak to the constant pursuit toward appreciation and mindfulness.

About my work formally, stylistically and linguistically

Intangibility
Weaving in and out of clarity. Existent, but difficult to get a clear handle on. Fog does this, memory does this, veils do this. It’s more beautiful to leave room for the mind to guess and imagine than to be completely clear. There is a peak where ambiguity and clarity mingle perfectly.

Perception

What color is the grass at night? Is it green? Maybe a shade of navy blue; I’m sure Photoshop would tell me with the color sample tool and it would even give me the six numbers that identify that color. That’s the weird thing about seeing, experiencing, perceiving and remembering—there is usually a lot of discrepancy.

Cadence and Punctuation

The pace of bike pedals as they push to stay steady and to keep up at the same time. The end of a song or sentence. When successful it is a period, when weak it is a comma.

Textures
Textures are amazing both for looking and for touching. I love a well balanced texture.

Balance
Balance reminds me of another thing that is part of my working interests. Balancing like a balancing act; tipping and teetering and barely staying up. Not balanced like a well balanced diet or a symmetrical composition.That is where it becomes the most interesting; just enough, not too much. That’s what making art is for me a balancing act.

Fragments
I’m not sure how I feel about fragments. It feels like an honest way to communicate and make things because of the way we receive information and remember things, but it still feels incomplete (of course).