Artist Statement

I’ve been kind of in a writing rut lately.  It seems that as soon as I exit my creative rut and start working on new projects, the writing part of my brain goes blank.  Maybe I only have the ability to do one at once… Or maybe it’s just the beautiful weather we’ve been having that is making it hard for me to sit in front of the computer for any extended period of time.  Or maybe it’s just the overwhelming amount of writing I’ve been doing for applications for funding and opportunities.  Whatever it is, I have been neglecting the blog and I’ll see what I can do about that.  It’s extremely hard to put into words what it is exactly that I do.  I’ve found that every time I write an artist statement and reread it in the next week or month, it already feels inaccurate.  And it’s not that my ideas change week to week or month to month, it’s just hard to encompass it all into words.  Regardless, here’s an excerpt from my latest attempts for an application I submitted last week, here it is before I start picking it apart in the near future:

“For quite a long time, I had trouble verbalizing what my work is about.  I would say it is about people, travel, cultures and history.  I would say that it is about that connection we make with strangers, often without them realizing it, when we see a little bit of our life reflected in theirs.  I would say that through my work I try to capture how important it is for us to acknowledge these seemingly small moments, understand them and realize just how similar we all are.  As I was describing all this to someone once, he responded with the simple word I had been looking for all along, empathy.  It was so simple, and yet it was exactly what I had been trying to say all along.  My work is about universal moments, or emotions, which at their core are all the same and we can all understand and connect to.  Moments where we are not defined by our nationality, our age or our job, but rather moments we all share, moments of joy or solitude, of fear or of sadness.  While I could not verbalize it this way for a long time, my art has been based in these ideas for as long as I remember.  The driving force behind my work is my fascination and need to understand the personal stories each of us lives every day and the complexity of who we are, as informed by each of these personal histories.  The lives we lead are not simple, we are each rough around the edges, built up, as well as scarred, by our past and present.  My process involves multiple layers and elements of chance, mirroring the complexity I aim to depict in my work.  There are often spills, raw-looking lines and layers upon layers on my images, a reflection of the idea that often we are products of a rather messy history that leaves its mark whether we realize it or not.”

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