Artist Statement

2013

My work inhabits the liminal space between painting, sculpture, and performance. I mine the language of painterly abstraction, monumental sculpture, slapstick humor, and pop art to transform mundane industrial materials into inflatable painted sculptures and performative props. I am interested in the assumptions and history of both painting and sculpture. I create objects that engage in intellectual play, testing the boundaries and expectations of each medium, while exploring the possibilities of low-brow, mundane, unconventional materials. I am interested in how objects "look" as opposed to "how" they are created i.e. the appearance of abstract painting visualized through industrial materials and sculptural form. I combine expressive painting in opposition to the linearity and the rigidity of adhesive tape and vinyl stencils.

I have explored many approaches to object making to get at my desire for this conglomeration of painting and sculpture. In so doing, my work with inflatable sculptures has been the most satisfying. I find the inflatable form compelling, as it exists in two states: both as flaccid skin (painting) and taut volume (sculpture). I think of the polarities of form within these objects as metaphors for the fragility and strength of our bodies: breathing - inhale/exhale; aging taught/wrinkled skin; posturing - body signals as signs of strength/ weakness; and sexuality - flaccid/erect organs. In addition I am interested in how the body can activate the inflatable sculpture (performance), and how the 'prop' abstracts and extends the body holding it. I think of the scale and weight of the object when carried as a reference to a turtle carrying it's home or to Atlas carrying the world: a metaphor for the responsibilities we bear. So labor, ritual, endurance, and humor are also important components in my work.

My early work included paintings of large tartan-like grid patterns: a response to my Scottish heritage, and Rauschenberg inspired 'combine' paintings: early attempts to bridge painting and sculpture. But when I had kids, the early grid acquired meaning in reference to forms of familial containment, protection, and nurture. My work over the past ten years has evolved out of an examination of domestic objects of comfort and play. This impetus has led me to explore forms that include: my home, pillows, mattresses, bodies, airbags, and playful bouncy castles as symbols of comfort, protection (over-protection) and playful energy. My recent work has used silhouette shapes from architectural fragments of my home as a starting point from which an inflatable form is stitched. These architectural fragments once inflated become figurative: a reference to the people who dwell inside them and the thing that makes a house a home.