Artist Statement

A public aspect of my work started with an intergenerational dialogue with Mary Miss, a pioneering feminist artist from the 70s. Miss’ early sculptures have inspired me to get out of the studio and work directly on site. I have been focused on one sculpture in particular, Portable Window, that Miss made in 1968. With Miss’ endorsement, my adaptations create a family tree of sculptures reimagined from her original. The sculpture is essentially a big wheel, with handles and a rectangle window that frames a view. Miss prioritized an unscripted experience for artist and viewer to engage in our surroundings that emphasizes being on site, reframing a view, and collaborating with community. I am guided by Miss’ words: “Priorities: Breathing space, human scale, and first hand experience.” Sculpture has the ability to give back and empower these fundamental rights.

Public work with Portable Window has generated a lot of videos, captured from a jig attached to the sculpture. While our digital culture has made it incredibly easy to frame and take pictures without restraint, Portable Window slows down and makes framing our surroundings a more physical act in sync with our bodies. The videos are an extension of the sculpture and capture what the sculpture is, in a sense, framing. This slow flipping is how it often feels right now. Observing calm, and even beautiful in moments, but then seamlessly moving to disorienting and dizzy, a rupturing of the frame. Uncertainty. Framing space usually helps to formalize composition, but these videos frame in order to destabilize and disorient. The landscape tilts and turns. What is once familiar is flipped and ruptured.

Rolling Portable Window gave me agency to listen and to talk with strangers. I am further developing ways in which my work can engage the public with mobility and simple means. Currently in the studio I am collaborating with colleagues to create flowers that move and generate sound. I have a growing archive of cast rubber flowers and plants. Bringing these sculptures into the public will encourage the viewer who passes by to notice the movement of the flowers and then to activate the sound component to engage the flowers further. Motivating the public to talk and engage with the sculptures is a step towards in affirming a relationship with the immediate surroundings.

I have been casting flowers in rubber for several years. Taking the fragile beauty of a bloom and casting it in the industrial ruggedness of rubber is a way to express a larger, often troubled, relationship with our surroundings. The flowers take on an aggressive presence when transformed into rubber. They embody perseverance and mobility- qualities we crave after these past two years. I have a variety of flowers cast from the last few growing seasons including sunflowers, daisies, lilies, poppies, and coneflowers. There is a lot of trial and error in my process. I’m not looking for complete fidelity to the original. Rather, I welcome a sculptural combination that embraces my touch, the flower’s details, and the surprise of material trace and transformation.