(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”