Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I Speak in Idioms, Solo Exhibition at Project Three Gallery, Akron Ohio, January 2019

Artist Statement:
I have created a series of small sculptures and dyed textiles through the exchange of additive and reductive methods. Carving and bleaching serve as reductive techniques that at times reveal what is hiding beneath, and at other times fully obliterate the information. Plaster coatings, wrapping, and batik dying act as methods to add color and build form. As I indulgently mix varying hues of fabric dye and stir together water and plaster, my mind struggles with the reality of the world I live in which ranges from what to make for dinner to the starving children in Yemen, all haunting me in my place of privilege as I worry about the blue I just mixed not having enough of a green undertone. As podcasts revealing current events backdrop my studio, my mind flickers from shades of blue - to babies at the border - to my own babies…and back again. The cycle blurs and various levels of meaning emerge as the blue shifts to teal. 

The back and forth method of working calls to mind the use of idioms, and how the established meaning of these phrases, when taken literally, shifts to various points of meaning. Idioms serve as a point of entry for the making of this work. I like the notion that a group of words can be established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. Through use and a collective understanding, meaning is attached to an otherwise nonsensical phrase. When taken literally, the phrases serve as a framework for the creation of images and objects. Through the development of this work, the pieces have taken on personal narratives both comical and meaningful. Tip of the Iceberg, one of my favorite works in the show, can be understood as an abstract representation of a floating, icey, blue form and on another level suggests for me something new is starting to take shape within my practice. Similarly, Arm and a Legdecribes the literal contents of the piece but also suggests its idiomatic definition- “pricey”. The works creep onto each other through shape and color, sharing similarities like siblings. As I chip away at the layers I've created and then bury them again with a new batch of plaster or a different shade of red-orange, I recognize that these shifting layers have taken pause but only temporarily, as little remains static at our psychotic moment.