Statement



 

I create installations that use the sculptural human figure and the alteration of space to create psychologically charged environments; in varying ways, the installations touch on overarching ideas about a desire to understand and connect with others, the prevalence of individual subjectivity in our experience of reality, and the ways our physical encounters with spaces and with representations of bodies can affect perceptions of our own bodies. The figurative sculptures within the installations pull us into their fictional realities with a high degree of naturalism and notions of the private made public, while simultaneously pushing us away, or creating a psychological distance, with their unrealistic scale, unnatural colors, and lack of narrative clarity. Similarly, the spaces often incorporate color choices or spatial strategies that pull viewers into the space, while simultaneously making them feel uncomfortable or alienated once inside. 

 

Screen (Mattress Factory, September 21- April 4, 2019)

Screen is a multimedia installation that transforms the gallery into a theatrical setting with bold color, scale shifts, and strategies that engage the viewer as both voyeur and subject. Throughout the installation, various kinds of screens offer a mediated experience of the space, from literal screens on monitors that present distorted and delayed images to walls that inhibit access to interior spaces. Mirrors and monitors function similarly to windows, but rather than give us an external view they simply reflect the space we are occupying back to us. These elements, along with sculptural figures that are intended to remind us of our own bodies, encourage a self-consciousness that highlights the prevalence of individual subjectivity in our experience of reality.

 

Stage Left (University of Tennessee-Knoxville, January 24- March 8, 2018)

Stage Left is an immersive installation that integrates figurative sculptures into a space that is suggestive of a house, playfully alluding to the idea of the home as a stage set. Though “stage left” is traditionally a term used to orient, it is used here as a foil to highlight the viewer’s disorientation within the fabricated space, while reinforcing theatrical associations with the installation. As people move through the gallery, spaces recede and reflect, sometimes offering a glimpse into another room, sometimes reflecting back the space one is in, and occasionally reflecting a reflection. Additionally, exposed studs on one side of each wall create a sense of front and back (or stage and backstage) that shifts throughout the gallery. Objects such as sheets, blinds, and picture frames conjure the context of the home, charging this “stage” with a sense of a private space. As viewers bend, squat, and peek around corners to view tableaus, their own reflections appear throughout the space highlighting their participation in the scenes. 

 

Busts

In addition to my installation work, I also regularly sculpt portraits. I use the portrait bust format because I'm interested in the expectation we place on portraiture to reveal something about an individual's interiority. I have always felt that making inferences about a person's psychology or personality from physical likeness is a highly flawed practice, though we make such inferences instinctively. In the “Unmet” series, I create portrait busts that disrupt the impulse to read into facial features or expression by removing much of the figure's likeness. Features are removed, leaving flat, colorful planes that become abstract suggestions of the figures’ interiority. These busts are cast solid with multiple colors in their interiors. I carve into the faces of the figures after they are cast, excavating strata of color that present unpredictable shapes and patterns. The interiors allude to cross-sections seen in anatomy books, while also suggesting something about the complexity of character and psychology that make others so mysterious.