I have an extensive background in the traditional methods and am attracted to forms made by casting metal and plaster, welding, and assemblage--
but have distinguished myself in the feild by combining these processes with a diverse offering of other processes like digital imagery, sewing,
bookarts, and alternative photography. These pieces are neither sculpture, computer generated imagery, nor garment in their purest form--but
rather a chimerical mixture of what I find interesting or necessary about these mediums with the time and effort I undertook to complete a single
gallery-ready object. The following is a more specific discussion of the primary conceptual and material impulses within my work:
"Look and Learn, Little Girl" Series
These are two-dimensional works based on imagery from 1950’s era mass media, organized digitally and printed on silk fabric run through an inkjet
printer. Text and additional imagery is then added by hand or mechanically using a sewing machine capable of “stitching out” almost photo-
realistic images from digital files originated from scans or photographs.
It is intended that this collection be a more humorous and approachable means to discuss how women perceive their “place” and the conflicting
messages that have been internalized via social conditioning. Using irony, absurdity and sarcasm to frame these themes, as well as a visual format
similar to “Dick and Jane” style flashcards, I ask viewers to consider the positive or negative consequences that women attempt to reconcile by
conforming to stereotypically passive or aggressive means of behavior. Images including those of clothing, toys, utensils, appliances, etc. are used
to represent a female character and are paired with a word determining the passivity or aggression of the individual. (For example: a telephone is
“obedient,” and an iron is “domineering.”) Given that contemporary women in positions of power, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, TV icon Martha
Stewart or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are continually criticized for “unladylike” behavior that is easily validated if done their male peers—
this is a timely exercise to examine the cultural backlash against women who are perceived as flying in the face of traditional roles.
The girdle and corset pieces defy their original purpose to constrict and confine from underneath--slipping between the often rigid categories
defining sexual protocols to offer a humorous commentary on the feminine role in attraction and seduction. These works also include lavish
patterns created with compulsively beaded marks, stitched lines, knots, and sculptural alterations to mimic preening rituals and obsessive
thoughts about initiating attraction. Ultimately, this grandiose collection of details lure the viewer to engage with the work on a more intimate
level, and to encounter that offputting realization of being close in proximity to the overt randiness of something still recognizable as underwear.
Recent interests have expanded to include Victorian-era clothing trends, and the staunch ideals relating the type of dress and adornment to class
and other household furniture and accessories.
Process Details: Fabric Pieces
All forms for my fabric-based work are lifted from existing garments or from authentic patterns of the era. I have collected numerous girdles,
corsets and photographs to use for source material, and have developed methods to glean a replica without destroying the intact garment. Once a
silhouette is created, fabric is hand-dyed, visual patterns or sculptural alterations are derived from botanical or anatomical illustrations, and
completed by hand or machine. I also include details of wearable garments like hooks, zippers, clasps to consciously maintain the illusion of the
garment’s functionality to the viewer.