Into the Fragility

MONDAY, AUGUST 1, 2011

The act of cutting and gluing instead of just painting has challenged my natural heavy-handedness.  In this body of work, I’m building images from a soup of scraps: found acetate, recycled inkjet prints, and fragments of painted paper.  This group of work begins without me knowing what I mean to describe, but I gradually assign meaning as I arrange and layer my invented glyphs.

 My decision to address the idea of “fragility” in cut paper has required me to learn delicateness as a method and given me space to explore the ways in which delicate life survives.  My studio opens onto my backyard garden, and while I created these works I battled the vicious soil of my backyard in the hopes of growing food.  From the soil I’ve pulled broken records, shards of glass and the remnants of yesteryear’s dish breaking tantrums. With its high clay content, the soil has fought my hands and tools aggressively and has resisted the downward reach of the carrot.

As the soil has gradually become a less hostile environment, and allowed the seeds I sow to germinate, I have marveled at how precarious a young plant’s life is…and how the removal of one leaf can end it’s growth.  I’m reminded how defenseless all life is when it begins, and that our defenses develop because of the environmental hostility that threatens our survival.

Building off of our society’s macabre fascination with envisioning our destruction and our planet’s devastation, (a literary and film genre that I have surely over-saturated myself with) I have shifted my focus away from the shriveling and abandonment of an apocalypse to the reinvention of life that could come after.  As I imagine a narrative for these works, I find myself drawn to the battle that must take place for something defenseless to thrive. I have titled these works in a way that places myself and other survivors in the role of awestruck observers who are witnessing diaphanous life-forms interact, attack each other, reproduce and navigate their environments. These life-forms are the inhabitants of an ocean that’s been stripped to its building blocks, but is still teeming with life. I am in the role of protective observer and careful participant.

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