Statement



I unmake things. I start with discarded objects and structures and selectively undo the actions and procedures that originally formed them. I remove staples, screws, bolts, and nails; I ripout stitching; peal apart layers; scrape off grime. Each object requires different methods and quite often new techniques. Once an object’s gross assembly has been undone, I shift my attention toward more subjective forms of reversal and repair. My goal is not to strip materials back to a raw state, but to find the poetic place where an object’s material history intersects its lived history, and opens a space that allows it to become something new. This new identity grows out of its previous history, speaks across its entire existence, and remains open to changes that will inevitably come in the future. I locate the resonant point in an object through a slow process that requires both pragmatic and metaphysical sensitivity. Some of this thinking-heavy work is done while interacting with the material as it is deconstructed and processed. And, there are ways of thinking that can only happen through repetitive interactions with materials. Other types of contemplation require more time and greater distance. I usually live with things for years before I come to understand exactly what it is that they need to be reborn. This time allows me to form a deeply layered relationship with the specific material and accumulate a complex understanding of its history and context. For example, a seemingly straightforward work in pieced-together couch velvet, will be subtly shaped by a slowly developed understanding of the history of velvet production, the chemistry of solar radiation bombardment, traditions of quilt piecing, the lineage of furniture design, the history of painting, as much as by the more visible histories evidenced in the sun damage, spills, body oil, and muddy shoes, that have physically marked its surface. This complexly rich underpinning is not meant to be legible in the work itself, but is critical for a piece to become an inexhaustible thing that gets more interesting and rewarding the longer and deeper it is considered.