Memories erode. Days and moments slip by. People pass away. In my work, I always find myself returning to ideas surrounding the passage of time and the impact this passage has on our emotions, our psyche, and our everyday life. Whether it be a heavy moment we keep returning to like the loss of a loved one or the smallest of moments we are too rushed to notice. I use both time-based and still works, as a means to dissect, pull apart, slow down, and alter time. I explore the acts of drawing and painting as a ritualized process, meditating on what the simple act of mark making can mean in a variety of contexts.
In my Passing series, I consider time and the quiet moments in our lives that we are often too busy to notice. Throughout each day, new patterns emerge on my walls, a combination of old glass slowly morphing, shapes caused by wind blowing leaves, and shadows being cast. Sometimes these movements are fast - the shift in line, shape, and color so quick it is breathtaking. Sometimes they are slow - a slow pulse like a heartbeat, a spirit visiting for just a moment. I collect, document, draw. Taking the quickly passing moment and breaking it down frame by frame. Slowing it down. Discovering the intricacies of line, mark, and shadow as I draw each frame. Then piecing it back together, speeding it back up, and planting it in a new spot online - endlessly repeating somewhere in the dense mass of digital information. The animated GIFS of these shadows straddle two planes of being - the ephemeral passing of a moment and the morphing, eternal sea of the digital.
In my Burial series, I explore personal loss and the memorialization of those who are no longer living. Each piece serves as a burial, but also a memorial. Working on top of photographs of burial, we acknowledge loss; the person is removed from our lives. The pieces become a signifier, like a gravestone, of a person who once lived. These signifiers also serve as a physical connection to those who, through burial, have become physically disconnected from our lives. The use of feather imagery references the cross-cultural symbolism of the bird as a connection between heaven and earth.
In Taking Care, I focus on dealing with my parents’ mortality and preparing for their future deaths. In these works, my parents pose reclined, as in death, in isolated natural settings. I cover over their photographed bodies with hand-drawn shrouds of flowers. Involved in the complex processes and rituals surrounding grieving, flowers achieve more than just beautifying death, but also act symbolically as a mirror of the fragility of life, of the cycles of life and death, and also as a symbol of care, both for the deceased and the bereaved. In the videos, two layers of footage are woven delicately together exploring temporality, ritual, and artistic process. Each three hour video piece shifts between moments filmed on site with my parent in the natural environment as they pose, during which I sit with them looking at their still form, holding their hands and meditating on their future death, and footage of me in the studio gradually drawing over the large-format printed stills until I can barely make out their forms. The ritualized process of burial and ceremony helps lend order to the often overwhelming experience of death. I use the ritualized process of painting—the slow, meticulous use of repeated marks and forms—as a locus for the feelings of grief and fear I feel when contemplating the death of my family, as well as myself. Death is often an avoided subject, a gaping chasm at the end of each of our lives around which we tiptoe, but birth and death are the two human experiences which we all share. To die is to be human.