Creative Pinellas Arts Annual 2021
November 11, 2021 – December 19, 2021
Gallery is open Wednesday – Sunday 12-5pm
1211 Walsingham Rd, Largo, FL 33778
“Skins and Vessels”
The Chinese Wu Xing system lists wood, fire, earth, metal, and water as the five elements. This explains the nature and complexity of all matter in terms of simpler substances.
My work touches on all the elements as I seek to translate, disclose, and disseminate our emotional realities. Time… and accumulating objects over time are manipulated, exposing the seen and not seen.
Layers, and the illusion of layers, are integral to surface just as illusion is always beneath the surface. “Skin and Vessels” explores this premise, the hidden physical, emotional and spiritual layers and the chimera integral in all layers — ours, a structure, whatever. It is an underworld depicted in marred and pocked marks and punctured here and there with thread and stitching. It continues a theme I have been exploring for the past two decades or so, that of surface and a biography beneath the surface. I reference not only humanity but the topographical life and layers of all objects.
The pieces are created with scratches and punctures that sully the surface along with a staining process developed over many years. These baths, which contain different elements and intensity combine rust from found objects along with pellets, nails, steel wool, chain, string and tea. The objects leave their decomposing marks on the skin of the paper or treated surface, penetrating to varieties of depths. Other materials are added, such as silk, thread, yarn, modeling paste, matte medium, human hair and encaustic.
Overall, two events influence the work. The first: Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which devastated New Orleans, pulled back my childhood as I watched the suffering there. As a young girl, I lived in public housing due to my father’s illness. This time of poverty resurfaced as I viewed the Katrina aftermath. It formed a fresh direction, exemplified by a major installation called “Hung Out In The Projects”.
The second is Jared Diamond’s lecture of the Easter Islanders, devastated through the rape of their own environment. His question: “What was the islander thinking when he chopped down the last tree?” resonated in me and inspired a room-size installation “The Last Tree” as well as other environmental works.
I continue to confront the questions of humanity and my habitat. The totality of my work through the years essentially begs the question: When do we recognize and act?