Senior Thesis Show, Drury Gallery, Marlboro College, VT. 2014.
Artist Statement from the Installation
We care for the individuals that populate our lives. For me, many of these characters are not humans, but trees and vegetables, birds and streams and the rich, crumbling earth. I see these elements as not only the building blocks out of which we produce human life, but also as beings whom we build that life alongside. As individuals, I wonder how we conceive of ourselves—
who is family; where is home? I collaborate with many materials to explore tensions between humans and nature, domestic and wild, collaboration and exploitation, maker and material.
What stories do we tell ourselves about these relationships, and what more do we leave untold?
This is a project of creative re-situation.
My work seeks to break down separations. In this space, the materials do not lay silent. Trees, like our ancestors, are the subjects of portraiture. Old growth forests can be nurtured and tended to with the same circumspection that some apply to the domesticated sphere of the family garden. The table marks the intersection of many levels of use of the natural world, and for this reason also offers an opportunity to re-tell the story of our relationship with the materials we build our lives out of— to burst the bubble of domesticity. Thus the formal, human sphere of the dining room is infiltrated with the unruly detritus of the natural world.
I wish to push the boundaries categorizing home and family, and to question the reductive dichotomies which support those classifications. If we understand the wild to be our heritage, and we have allowed domestication to prevail in the present, where (and with whom) shall we sit in the future?