about my work
Making art with found materials is not a deliberate environmental statement on my part, nor is it a novel idea. My concerns for the environment are addressed in the garden, where I see myself as a custodian and partner in a system there; a collaborator and student of sentient plants rather than a lord of such.
I love plastics, color, and tiny things, and few things make me happier than to fix or make something. It is often a game to see how far I can go on a project without running out to a store to buy something. When I've "pulled a rabbit out of a hat" (used up only the junk I've collected) then I'm thrilled.
It is a true delight to run across an iridescent-beetle-colored toy part on the sidewalk, or a thick, transparent pink zip lock bag or a perfectly engineered plastic cap. A lot of precision design work goes in to things we barely look at. I am championing the idea of beauty in everyday things, but not the cause of design for obsolescence and especially not the ubiquitous and carefree use of plastics, as alluring and helpful as they may be. My focus is all on the senses of sight and touch. I try not to philosophize about or get bogged down by why we spend so much energy on things we ignore and throw away. I am simply fascinated by and adore those things: paper, plastic, metal, rubber, tape, clips of images, or artificial flower parts. Some saved items end up being useful in the garden for decoration, repairs or construction.
Abstraction in art and functionalism in the garden are the best ways I can relate to my materials. In the studio I work in gestures that refer to landscape. Like Chinese brush painting or cooking, there is no reworking, but a lot of deliberation beforehand. My palette is made of color-sorted collections of papers and plastics in Ziploc bags, file folders and boxes. I purposely disguise or remove parts of my materials in order to take that object's symbolism or identity away just enough to set up a "Where's Waldo?" game of sorts.