It is always a bit suspect to look at something really beautiful, like a sublime landscape, and want to make it into art. However, the goal in this work is to see the shift of those expectations one has about memorializing an experience in nature. To confront , immediately and directly if possible, the bare bones of a natural encounter; the elemental, fundamental, and industrial. All of which make the bedrock which sustains us. I’ve been imagining what a specimen of that bedrock could resemble; an assemblage of archived landscape images and the detritus found therefrom.
Available at Var Gallery Milwaukee, WI 2021
I've been working on a series these landscape collages using found materials, scientific slides, rocks and other things one might enjoy collecting. Treasures and the various depictions of landscapes are encased in a jewel-like specimen to remember one's place in the current geologic time.
Early humans would arrange rocks in places where they encountered gods, creating stacks, circles, towers. They piled whatever was around, that would last the seasons, to mark trails. In Iceland, cairns remain today from Vikings of the 9th century, geometrically piled high so the horses could see them over the snow drifts. Or maybe the custom came from the Celtic tradition of the Irish slaves the Vikings had brought with them. The Scottish used the stone heaps as landmarks and burial monuments. They were built for astrological, ceremonial and hunting purposes. Seafarers used cairns for navigating long before lighthouses entered the equation.
The markers of the past were practical, in present they seem mystical. As if a fossil can tell us the history of where they are found and how they got there according to their sequencing. There is narrative in layers, of time imprinted like an ancient fossilized wing, a previous existence trapped in its surroundings. Geologists call this stratification, almost a complete confession of the past below, compounded below the surface.
Materials have an autobiography, how they behave is shown over time in their construction. The build up, the layers, time is of the essence and the manipulator of form for function. Adaptation is key and failure is nearly irrelevant because things adjust. Even in death or obsolescence, things transform, never fully extinct or evaporated. Just adjusted. Maybe turned relic.
Amplifying the symbolic potential, a visual vocabulary for the wreath is born out of a surrealist proclivity for a startling juxtaposition. Female imagery, witchy, empowered and rightfully Vitruvian as woman is self examined relation to each other.
Reanimation. Miracles of nature being lost. Is nature cursed? The summer solstice is the official launch date of Chanctonbury rings, according to a Sussex archaeology and folklore, you can see the fairies dancing in the Ring on Midsummer Eve as well as UFO’s flying overhead. Not to keep bringing up the Icelandic, but they believe you can roll around with elves on the moss this night as well. One must walk around in a circle, contrary to the sun’s course, considered unlucky, seven times around the ring.
35mm photographs along the shores of Lake Michigan
I encased the bag in resin using gift bags as a mould, encasing it with its form. I thought about greek amphora and pouring vessels, painted imagery showing the use of the object on which it was inscribed. What if the bag were dug up in the future, inspected to try to understand the humans that once lived there?
Goody Bag Geodes are common grocery and takeout bags cast in resin. Created by casting in plastic bags to create surface texture reminiscent of a gift bag. The process repeats, building layers around the bag to mimic a geological formation.
We are in a society of maximum creation, in an inexhaustible system capable of infinite output. We are creating artifacts of a society addicted to the illusion of endless growth and consumption. We make and cast aside and buy and throw away, regurgitating fallacies of value in objects who’s function is laughably frivolous in its construction and in its ability to ‘die,’ or return to let’s say, to the natural. Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice, leaving our mark as a compression of useless suffocating totes.
Installation during MARN Mentorship Program Exhibition at Between Two Galleries, Milwaukee, WI. August 2020.
I find myself currently marooned in my hometown of Port Washington, Wi since long before the Covid-19 crisis. The beacons that flash from the harbor always leave a light to follow home. Yet here too, the horizon reveals an endless possibility, infinite skyline, water to travel on. In a time where sightseeing isn't much of an option, I metaphorically depart this marina, using the known shoreline as a dock. In the studio, I navigate towards a dream landscape which combines cadences of reality with fantasy.