Formally, I create work all along the spectrum of realism and abstraction. But, conceptually, I am most interested in the tangible elements of a landscape that point to the beyond. In an essay from 1976, pioneering land artist Robert Smithson wrote, “We cannot take a one-sided view of the landscape.” He argued that a particular place, “cannot be seen as a ‘thing in itself’, but rather a process of ongoing relationships existing on a physical region.”
This attitude is a driving force behind my art practice. Works are visual products of a sustained drawing process, born of my ongoing relationship with the prairie. Working from memories of moments and experiences, I build up marks that reference both visual forms and non-visual characteristics like movement and time. I resist characteristics of traditional landscape representation by both the obscuring of obvious points of orientation such as a horizon, and by seeking a different kind of source material: Imagery in my work develops from a montage of moments distilled by memory and perception, not from a single scene bounded by a frame.
Without a single source, these works become freed from time and site. I think of them as fragments of a larger, continuous whole that I am still discovering and learning from.
Small Land Studies
Myth is the meeting point of abstraction and belief.
“We are colonized by certain ways of thinking about relationality. We can only imagine the ways in which selves and thoughts might form associations through our assumptions about the forms that structure human language. And then, in ways that often go unnoticed, we project these assumptions onto nonhumans. Without realizing it we attribute to nonhumans properties that are our own, and then, to compound this, we narcissistically ask them to provide us with corrective reflections of ourselves.”
-Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think.
Catch & Release
The title “Catch & Release” is meant to show a process as more meaningful than a presentation of one exclusive representation. What is presented is a record of study, exploration and collaboration with the subjects. Furthermore, the subjects of this series are objects found in the Kansas prairie. The objects’ relationships to each other are casual; born of free exploration within this environment. Presented together, however, they exhibit a symbiosis that suggests these individuals also function as a community.
Work was produced during a month-long residency with Grand County Creatives in Grand Lake, Colorado.