My work operates as a feminist reclamation of problematic historical tropes that still have resonance in modern life. Fairytales, lore of Medieval saints, Victorian kitsch and the trope of the Pre-Raphaelite “doomed maiden” each take a turn under my lens and come out on the other side re-interpreted and revitalized, remade for a modern understanding. Through that process of reclamation I find myself re-discovering my own personal narratives, and my own experiences as a woman become reflected in the work- themes of family, mental health, illness, sexuality, love and loss.
In each of these works, I have emphasized the visual language of feminine crafts and historic decorative modes - sewing and dyeing, decoupage, flower arranging, silhouette cutting, and manuscript illumination are only a few of the techniques evoked. Because of this emphasis on craft and decoration, the choice of materials is very important to me- they must be emotionally powerful and fit seamlessly into the narrative of the project. All sorts of materials are lurking under the surface of each artwork- faux pearls, antique doll parts, hair, craft flocking, vintage millinery flowers, silicone, plastic lanyard, candle wax, nail scissors, and dust are only a few. Through extreme layering of these materials the act of creation becomes both an additive and subtractive process- some parts are excavated and others are layered very thickly- there is a free exchange between the two and the three dimensional, between painting and sculpture.
Each project operates as a whole to create a world that the viewer can step into. It is the creation of that world that is important for me, as it harkens back to the fully immersive imaginary world of childhood. Even in the most serious of thematic material I need there to be a sense of play, a sense of discovery, a sense that there is something else more wonderful still, just out of reach.