As we face the extinction of life on earth and the climate crisis deepens, possibly to the point of no return, I mourn for the beauty of our natural world. While the trees above ground are critical for our survival in producing oxygen, I am particularly drawn to what happens below ground in the recent discoveries about latticed fungi or mycorrhizal networks. In the most current project, Elegies to the Underground, it is the below ground system of trees in sharing resources and working together in complex and infinite pathways, alliances, and kinship networks that I am fascinated by and working with. These works are a tribute or memorial to trees whose heartbreaking loss I fear and mourn.i
With climate change an ever pressing concern, rising seas, water scarcity, extreme weather patterns becoming the norm and ocean pollution, I also ooked to the vast expanses of water as a source for another recent body of work. While my work is abstract, I reference nature visually and conceptually. For instance, in the Phylum works and others, I reference cell biology, accretion of geological formations, botanical structures and the taxonomy of the natural world.
Many of my paintings reference the interiors of the body: cells, neurons, blood, milk, veins, wounds, and sutures. While my paintings are informed by such tragedies as AIDS and joyous events like birth, I do not desire or aim for any specific reading. Instead, the works determine an arena of interpretation informed by matters of regeneration, connection, disease and recovery. Past work arose out of my own experience, such as motherhood, and spoke to the sustenance of new life. Some work was also inspired by the miraculous feat of cell division into the journey of creation and birth of new life.
I have made paintings containing hundreds of pieces of wood of various heights, widths, and lengths (as seen in Transpire, Transect, Rime, and Phylum). During the very physical working of additive and subtractive layering in my work, there are numerous conceptual and physical changes that occur. Each piece represents a separate entity but is linked with its surrounding neighbors by various systematic rules and decisions. The small singular elements are meant to exist in equal strength to the whole. In effect, nothing is disconnected from the whole. The individual cannot exist without support; nevertheless, it remains distinctly unique. The singular elements in all of these works ultimately change in form and substance by building into something greater than themselves. A transmutation occurs from part to the whole.