ARTIST STATEMENT: A LITTLE LONGER STORY.....
Time spent in the hospital as a child led to my early connection to fibers.
As a baby, I had a favored blanket; the only way I could fall asleep was by working my fingers along the satin trim edging from one end to the other. During ages 2-4 while I was in and out of the hospital for medical complications and deafness, my mother made wonderful sewn and knit clothes for my Barbie and Ken which she would surprise me with on her visits to me during my hospital stays. One particular dress, made of a fiery red satin and white lace, enticed a growing tactile infatuation. Finger painting in the hospital art room -- large scuttling clouds and blowing treetops seen through the big picture window -- was my solace as I reveled in the squishy paint between my fingers. Touch was there when humans were not.
Saturdays were spent with Dad at his electrical shop from age 5 on. Wires, bolts and bits of metal became diamond tiaras and bracelets with which to adorn myself as I played. I visited the other shops in the construction company enclave where my Dad's business was housed -- plumbing, pipe fitting and glass shops became my source for supplies to make tables and sculptures -- and the men who owned them my lunch buddies at the local diner. An electrical spool cable table and stools my Dad set up inside an enclosure of weeping willow branches in our home back yard became the perfect setting to host tea parties for my dolls and teddy bears, with no other sound but the rustling whish the leaves made in light wind as I played alone for hours. A trip to Disneyland in California at age 5 -- my very first real vacation after all of my childhood illnesses, and the ride, "It's A Small World" -- made a huge impact on me and most certainly inspired the fantastical worlds I now create!
I grew up in Canada. Mine was a childhood made up of crystallized lakes to skate on, quiet forests to walk in, sluggish creeks to lazily swim in, and the violent elements of cold and hot to survive.
At age 15, while attending Interlochen Arts Academy private boarding school in Michigan for piano and dance I developed thyroid complications from Mononucleosis, which caused weight gain and resulted in getting kicked out of the dance department until I lost some of the weight. A friend suggested I take weaving to temporarily replace dance. I fell in love with fibers and immediately switched my major to art. It seems predestined.
Art chose me.
Gone now is that peace I felt while cocooned within that weeping willow tree of my childhood; the frenetic pace of city life, the unavoidable hyper-speed influx technology has infiltrated into most facets of daily life, and the inhumane pace humans work at and live in, has chipped away at our time and ability to notice nature and the many small but important moments.
Inner reflection, and the quest for true connection, has been buried in hype, and in hyper-activity. We are left with empty idealizations of what it means to be “human” connected to earth and wind. During that peaceful childhood I lived in it seems I noticed everything, and it is hard to do that today. So, it is art I come back to, to notice, to capture, to recreate that feeling on a daily basis.
In 1989 I was paralyzed in a car wreck; the months of debilitating pain I spent prior to reconstructive surgery, and the joy I felt upon regaining mobility afterward, cemented in me the realization that life is short and meant to be lived with passion and purpose. Getting swept down a mountain in Indonesia a few years later in a mudslide during a torrential rainstorm in 1993 and another horrific car crash in September, 2015 furthered my belief that, like a cat, I have used up more than a few of my lives, so might as well live any left to their fullest! In seeking a positive existence over the years I took to making up my own world, a Utopia influenced by the wonder of those childhood memories of being enveloped in nature, in color, cuddled by the tactile, enveloped in safe quiet.
Through the years of trying to return to those early years of wonder, I took moments to look closely at items usually ignored: a small stone kicked aside while walking, a bit of broken glass frosted by its movement in water or sand, a fossil, a shard of twisted metal, a miniscule shell, a cell, a swirl of moss on a beach, a shy smile, wrinkled hands, folds of cloth. I wanted to transform those simple, ordinary things into the extraordinary in order to give greater significance to them. Inspired by those bits, I produced 2D and 3D art forms and installation works that were not meant to realistically “reproduce” organic structures of the natural world and magnify them but merely intimate them; using the power of scale--from tiny to gargantuan—I strove to portray an essence I saw in each object. I also strove to connect with the viewer in a visceral, tactile manner, to ask that they share just a little bit of their time to live in my world.
While still working on those types of pieces recently -- fantastical creatures, amoebic forms and places to hide in -- I also decided to cause forced, physical, shared artistic interaction between the viewer and I. In my interactive body of work viewers can “rearrange” components thereby creating their own personal, alternative view, one that encourages human interaction with whomever happens to be around at that same moment in time, and another new view emerges, as a result. We are co-creators.
Recently, I have begun working in the exciting area of 3D printing. This technology has opened up a huge creative world of discovery. Who knows where it will go....
but the journey is wonderful!