These installations are examining the sharing of lived experience through aesthetic collections, sensory cognitions and embodied memories of place and time. Here I aim to affect sensitivities thru material layers of collected artifacts and multiple technologies in the site-specific and gallery settings.
Something in the Water.
August, 2016. Mixed-media: Stainless steel spheres, steel thread bolts, Plexiglas, stones, lights. Approx. 3’x4’. Installation sculpture installed under water, viewable from underwater viewing station in the fish house (and via live webcam) at the University of California Berkley's Sagehen Creek Field Station.
Chandelier Webs. August, 2016. Mixed-media: Woven wire (steel, copper, aluminum) and prisms. Various sized webs activating multi-faceted planes, approx. 7'h x 8’l x 5’w.
Shade Installation & Sky Tavern Installation
Wind & Wiregrass. August, 2016. Mixed-media: Steel wire, dried grasses, mummified insects, projection. Approx. 4’ x 6’ x 8’. Video from projector installed above casts onto sculptural elements below. University of California Berkley's Sagehen Creek Field Station.
Abbreviated Trees is a sculptural installation series built from oak and maple tree trunks and branches that have been sliced, drilled and strung on lines. They hang as plumb lines, gauging depth and verticality in selected locations in the woods where they "abbreviate" the view, contrasting and complimenting their surrounding woodland counterparts.
The following series of photographs are the initial inspiration from which the above installation works developed.
In September/October I focused more on an artistic inquiry of my lived experience.
I was feeling pressure of my limitations of time and a desire to create.
After a frustrating farmyard tussle with the goats,
I took our chicken guarding dog for a walk in the woods.
To help myself relax, I began contemplating my appreciation of shade.
The soft cooling sensation of shade and the smell of the woods on a warm day is beyond soothing.
Dapples of light upon the textures of the ground remind me of Renoir paintings.
The movement of the trees in a light breeze immerse me with my surroundings in a cast of millions;
individual branches, twigs, pine needles, leaves,
creating compositions of sunlit shadows in the sway of a soft dance.
If I could give the world a small gift today, it would be the delight of the simple sensation of shade.
As most citizens of this era, rather than just enjoy the experience and let it be that,
I was inspired to reach for my phone and began to document compositions that touched my eye.
In this sculptural installation I am experimenting with the concept of the relief sculpture in nature/utilizing nature, while extending use of some media and subject matter I was exploring via photography (wire, seed pods). I am attempting to communicate symbolic translations of my own experience while I continue to explore day to day living in my immediate surroundings, while also looking for solutions to the problem of exhibiting in the natural setting.
The urchins are multiplying and growing with an unnatural white coating. They are spreading to contaminate an area covering several trees. I spent a good deal of the beginning of the year fighting a recurring illness that was imitating strep throat symptoms, responded to penicillin, but wouldn't die. The tree urchins remind me of white pustules I hosted on my tonsils. I was concerned that my goats would tear this apart and attempt to eat it, but it makes them uncomfortable and they stay clear.
The concept behind Tree Implants is a form of artistic exhibition that doubles as an act of creating a focus of mental and aesthetic energy on an injured or dying tree by adhering to it a sculptural component; a temporary and decorative clay bandage, prosthetic or otherwise, to accentuate and memorialize its existence.
Virtual Installation Concepts
Wind and Wiregrass Installation (virtual model). Here, wire-based sculptural elements adorn the viewer's floor space and are projected upon with accompanying video from a projector mounted on the ceiling.
In the following installations I have experimented with the use of words as the primary visual and communicative component of the work.
Huntsville Haiku was a public art proposal I submitted for a mini-grant from the Something Interesting Downtown initiative by Downtown Huntsville, Inc. and PNC Bank. This temporary installation materialized as a collaborative “creative placemaking” artwork of Haiku poetry written by eighth graders at Huntsville’s Mountain Gap (P-8) Elementary School. Haiku is a form of traditional poetry from Japan, elegant and concise in its simplicity, consisting of three lines with a syllable count of 5-7-5 respectively. The students’ poems were thematically inspired by Greater Huntsville. This installation descended/ascended the stairway, from the Huntsville Downtown Square into Big Spring Park, the site of a natural spring historically central to the settlement of Huntsville. The intent of this work was to aesthetically reactivate this symbolic site--from the natural spring from which the community sprang, up to the heart of the city--in order to engage people in re-seeing and reflecting about Huntsville, to spark thought sprung from these children’s inspiring poetic ideas about Greater Huntsville.
See Thru Me
This series of works was created in response to elements of the "pop-up" trend. I chose the phrase to reference a personal distancing (reflecting how I feel about interacting with the public through displaying a conceptual installation as 'my art'); plays on the visual transparency of the letters, the impermanence and purpose of the stencil, and the visible set of loops in the posts; as well as references what we don't want to be seen, chose not to see, no longer see, are forced to look past, and can actually see thru.
Leaf Boots Series
Leaf Boots were created as a playful gallery piece; integrating repurposed object, fashion and environmentally found objects with conceptual/experiential/installation and photography. The Leaf Boots series references the lived memories of the repurposed rubber boots while the photographic approach attempts to comment on a catalog/advertising imagery approach toward the selling of the invention/art object/concept.
Public Sculpture Models
I envision these as large-scale public sculptures:
1) Hive Pool Fountain is in a park or busy city courtyard. All depicted elements are white marble. Arched water fountains spout out of the center of each circle block, into the center of the pool. A bronze honey bee in flight, measuring approx. 1' x 1.5' is hoisted up above the fountain arches, from the center of the pool bya spiraling bronze post.
2) Bee Dance Sculpture, is imagined as a public sculpture in a park, large city courtyard or on a river walk. It is 20' tall and approx. 40' wide. The white block is marble, the coil is steel with a gloss copper patina, the base is a wood color marble or granite base.
3) The Brood Comb sculpture would be a series of several small, individual 3-D forms suspended within glossy steel domes that are inset into the floor and ceiling, covered with a sheet of clear plexiglass. They are made of small, white marble hexagon-shaped tiles, cast together in polished steel.
My installation work is spurred by the influence of affective experience. Through a wordless, subjective, aesthetic language I mold layered facets of my experience into tangibility. My subject matter is based in moments of personal experience and the self-awareness of my agency within the natural world around me. My product, like the process from which it stems, is meant to convey a re-recognition or shared sensation of a subtle or momentary shift in mindset or emotional being upon encounter—a collective enlivening.
Drawing on my intrigue with conceptual installation by contemporary artists such as Robert Irwin, Sarah Sze, Jacco Olivier, Tara Donovan, Julianne Swartz, and Olafur Eliasson, my current series of works are motivated by moments— inspiration gained thru moments that stop me in my tracks and alter my emotional state or train of thought in some significant way. My work tends not to directly reference these moments, like in terms of creating a narrative picture. I use the moment as a reference point, an inspirational point of view from which to reflect upon, analyze, process and savor as I work toward creating a new affective experience for others.
Philosophically, I am taking a phenomenological approach; a first person, experiential voice. My muse is the complexity of our world—and our experiences and interaction with that world. The viewer is an important consideration for me, like a guest. I want them to be treated to an experience that is affective in some positive regard.
Since I have been looking to my own experiences for inspiration to create artwork, the subject matter of my work is enriched by my daily routine. For example, I have a farm in Madison County, Alabama and much of my time is concerned with plants and animals. We have two beehives which have been a point of new discoveries and contemplation for me, as I have been learning hands-on about beekeeping and the complexities of the lives of bees. Since bee behavior and my experience with beekeeping is on my mind, references to bees find their way into my work. As do objects from (and references to) the woods in my backyard, the other animals we keep and don’t keep (our resident foxes for example) and
experiences with my preschool daughter. Additional inspirational moments are encountered thru travels and unanticipated encounters.