Over the last few years, I have made living natural elements (living plants and mosses) the central component within installations that also incorporate a variety of other materials such as cast glass and bronze, clay (fired and un-fired), found objects and digital elements (video or sound). These “living” environment-installations seem to oscillate between permanence and ephemera while turning on notions of place, memory and time passing.
I see in nature, the miracle and fragility of my own fleeting life force mirrored back to me. For me, this inspires awe and intensifies my own awareness of being conscious and of being alive. It is at that very moment of intensified awareness when intellectual and emotional perception/experience seem to converge, Here, there can suddenly exist a momentary reception to physical or metaphysical memories, and of being in the immediate/transcendent “now.” In this space, there is the possibility of revelation. Ultimately, I attempt to translate these experiences back into the work.
In much of my work, I respond to nature and landscape as a metaphor for life, death, and the path of life experience. The cycle of life, death and renewal is clearly evident in the forest. I have worked with these ideas by re-creating Baroque dance notations in moss and clay (based on the idea that these notations might function somewhat like a path) as well as land-art works to trace some of my winding meanderings through the forest, taken to re-framing trees in the forest by circling them in mosses, or coating hollows in dead trees with living mosses. I have also created “landscape carpets” by sewing living mosses onto large stretches of burlap, suspended antique bedsprings with mosses, and created large terrarium-like landscape pieces, all of which have turned on notions of macro/micro-landscapes, connecting the body with the idea of landscape, and life itself.
Site specificity is also a fundamental consideration in my work. I try to create installations that ground the installation area within the space so that it seems as if one could not exist without the other. This intentionalist approach works to create real-time environments where everything feels connected and alive – with the idea of recreating that same sense for the viewer that I perceive when I am in the forest.
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