In relation to my materials, I take the position of the surgeon who is practicing techniques in a lab, but I have never seen firsthand the inside of the body. The excavated human form is used as a point of departure to produce abstract sculptural objects and installations that are ephemeral, visceral, and often attractive and grotesque. It is not an illustration of the human body itself or its contents, but rather a variety of tactile media implying a human physical presence that the viewer can connect to empathetically.
The excavated form is referenced through a layering process suggesting bone, intestines, veins, mucus, tendon, muscle, and skin. These pieces are protected by a skin that is fragile, and, in some cases, increasingly absent. Skin is the barrier between our internal structure and the outside world, and we cannot continue life without our barrier.
Many of the materials used have relevance to the body by being able to shelter or clothe, or aiding in food growth or preparation. Because psychology is a part of the science of the body but is mostly articulated through non-visual terms, mental maladies are included in the research from which these sculptures derive. For example, Loop, an installation of torn wax paper, requires me to act through symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to achieve a result that is calming to the viewer.
Some of the design elements come from research of specifically female ailments and procedures such a sterilization and menstrual complications. With my own research into medical history, many mistakes in our scientific past were impairments to the advancement of women’s health, including reproductive and mental health. The connection to the female body is also evident in the treatment of materials. I am following the examples of feminist artists from the late 1960s-present whose use of the body is present without the figure and is evident through the use of materials evoking an emotional, visceral response, and representing the body, not as a figure, but as an import-export system, using tubular forms. The art historical conflict of feminist art influences my choices of combining traditional sculpture materials, such as wood, steel, and ceramic, with soft and ephemeral materials such as wax, textiles, yarn, silicone, and paper.
In upcoming artworks, I have added fashion and wearable sculpture as an element to more literally connect the body to material, taking inspiration from food and avant guard fashion. These works will be on view at Memphis Fashion Week in April 2019. Progress has been documented through my Instagram.