For some of us, engaging the natural world is a tenuous prospect. The wild places, though beautiful, present uncertainty and force us to consider the fleeting nature of survival and our ever-closeness to death. Alternately, our interior spaces represent comfort, safety and personal choice. Curated with the things and people we value, we surround ourselves with beauty and keep the messier subjects like mortality at bay.
The Remains series contrasts the complexity of the natural world and the surety of our constructed interiors.
I am interested in how objects can serve as powerful symbols of our experiences. Some objects become emblematic of the self, while others may symbolize other people. Objects can be tied to specific events in our lives, and can serve as evidence of a moment.
In the Pictograph series, I explore personal narratives by constructing still life scenes that offer subtle suggestion of an underlying story. The images function as visual metaphors by utilizing color, pattern and object. These elements reference people, places and events from my past; but the symbols are intentionally vague. This vagueness offers a rich visual experience, but denies a literal read.
I recently came across a long-forgotten pack of Polaroid 52s that had expired in 2006. These images are the product of a string of chemical and mechanical failures, which resulted in beautiful abstractions.
While much of my work explores identity and home on a figurative level, the Agscapes series expands that exploration into a more literal examination of the place called home. I hail from Northeastern Nebraska, where my family has lived and worked for generations. These lands, with their symmetrical fields, perfectly composed marks left in the earth by machinery, and pattern and line formed by the process of growth and harvest, are among the most visually remarkable places in the United States. These images depict swaths of farmland located in Dixon and Dakota counties. These counties hold lasting paternal and maternal ancestral ties, and will forever be home.
Tea Party Activists (2009)
A documentary project exploring the attendees of Tea Party Rallies held in Louisville, KY and Washington, D.C.
Miss Fortune (2006-2008)
A slip of fortuitous wisdom, an imparting of fate enveloped in a crisp wafer cookie, we've all held destiny in our hands. These little gifts of tradition and stereotype are so easily discarded. This "Miss Fortune" series explores choice versus chance. It reflects my belief that we should hold firm to the smallest of choices, and that our most profound moments rest in places we take for granted.
This video piece accompanies the Pictograph series. In some cultures, a chrysanthemum petal is placed at the bottom of a wine glass as a wish for health and longevity. This piece is an expression of an abundance of hope and the anxiety of uncertainty.
Run time: 4:59