Installation and Site Specific
Gone Home . 2017
Artist Statement: Gone Home
In Gone Home, by creating an environment using hand made soap, which has been cast into letters and objects, and large Nimbus cloud paintings, my work encourages people to reflect on the emotional meaning of severe depression and how it affects them or the people close to them.
Soap is a metaphor for impermanence; it holds connotations of intimacy, and reveals hidden elements as it dissolves. Boxes for the soap are constructed using dry point etching and a list of ingredients: ash, bone, blood, motor oil, lard, bacon fat, sea salt, charcoal, etc. Letters and idioms are used as visual elements, raising the question of language and the challenge of communicating emotions.
The castings are displayed in 3 ways: as a museum display, turning the soap into precious objects; a store display as a commentary on the commodification of conformity; and a voyeuristic display of a young man’s coffee table with phosphorescent soap sculptures suggesting various means through which emotions are avoided.
The nimbus paintings are long, infinite paintings of storm clouds; the power of severe depression for some, and the magnificence of what we cannot control in others. Having the simultaneous experience of looking into and looking out of a dark cloud will encourage the viewer to be left alone with their own thoughts.
The last sculpture is made with sand and cast soap trucks, arranged in the boy scout wilderness symbol meaning “I’ve gone home”. It represents the end of my brothers’ journey but also becomes the conclusion of my own journey, through process, towards a new relationship with my brother and with my grief .
The intention of Gone Home is to start a conversation that is usually avoided regarding what it might feel like to be deeply sad, to have no choice but to take one’s own life, and the taboo subject of our own thoughts and experiences of death.
This work is dedicated to my little brother, 1976-2015.
Lost and Found Buddah . 2014
Geo caching is a fun kids’ treasure hunt whereby a small gift is hidden somewhere, the gps location is posted on a geo caching site and the hunt is on! When the cache is found the finder is welcome to the gift but must leave something else of interest behind.
Lost and Found Buddha was inspired by this activity while travelling extensively in SE Asia. I am leaving a ‘souvenir’ Buddha behind in each place I visit, hoping to inspire surprise and wonder in each person that finds one. It would be wonderful if the finder would either keep the Buddha as a souvenir, collect them by keeping up with my website, leave something behind of their own creation, or leave their treasure somewhere new for someone else to discover. My website is written on each sculpture so that the finder can discover more about their sculpture and leave a comment about their experience with the art piece.
On my travels through Asia I’ve seen thousands of Buddha images. Each region has a unique way of representing the enlightened one, depending on the mix of Buddhism, Animism, Confucianism and Hinduism. Keeping to this theme, I’ve found ‘lost’ mementos of each place off the ground or out of a garbage pile, and made a tiny three dimensional collage that reflects that place’s personality, naming each Buddha after various poses and mudras.
A History in Layers . 2013
Victoria: A History in Layer
My mission as an artist, whatever media I am using, has always been to inspire people to perceive the profound beauty that frequently hides in plain sight, dormant and ignored; to uncover new levels of meaning and mystery just beneath the surface of everyday reality; to discover a new way of seeing.
Lower Johnson street and its myriad alleys and nooks are walked upon daily by thousands of people who probably never notice, beneath their feet and in the walls around them, the rich texture of detail that brings to life this area’s exciting history. Waddington Alley, between Lower Johnson and Yates, for example, was built in 1858 during the Gold Rush. It has retained much of its history through the building materials used, including the Douglas fir blocks with which it was paved, the metal curb that edges the sidewalk, the clay bricks, granite, and so on. The buildings along here are more than 100 years old. On a single wall several layers of old peeling paint might juxtapose a swath of shockingly vibrant new blue; new wood and bricks rub shoulders with decaying vestiges of their brethren predecessors, along with crumbling masonry, creeping vines, hardy moss, and random clues and symbols from a bygone era.
My high definition macro photos, vividly displayed in strategically placed light-boxes, will initially surprise and intrigue the viewer, luring them into an adventure of the senses, a more tactile, visceral experience of familiar places, pulling them back in time then pushing them forward again, conjuring a sense of how varied and exciting this area was and still is. The intention is to render this iconic area subjective and personal, making the public feel a place they have passed by often, but never truly see.
Made possible by a 150 People and Places Grant with the support of the Greater Victoria Spirit Committee in partnership with the City of Victoria, the Province of BC and the Department of Canadian Heritage.