I paint images of construction with Nature as a way to reinterpret the world around me. This method of painting within my current body of work developed significantly after experiencing loss. I intuitively began taking pictures of construction sites, as a need for stability, manifested itself through an attraction to structure. Life felt chaotic, but I found salvation in scaffolding, cranes, and concrete. Through my artistic practice, common themes emerged: the idea of home and a sense of place, but more so, preservation, fragility, demolition, and creation. There was an immediate agency to create, and my paintings became both a response and a way to make sense of the nonsensical.
While completing my graduate degree, my thesis developed from a concern for the emotional and ethical disconnect required to live in the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene is the suggested renaming of our current epoch by geologists and earth scientists. There is no place on earth that has not felt the anthropogenic impact. We have transformed the earth system, and the evidence of this is species extinction, severe weather fluctuation, and ocean acidification.
In my most recent exhibition, Away We Go implies both a journey and a fear of saying goodbye. Contemporary philosopher Claire Colebrook suggests that for the first time, our extinction can honestly be imagined. The paintings displayed question the ideas and structures we put into place to protect us from these uncertainties.
The cityscape communicates structure. A sense of order is established through line, grid, and repetition, assuming pattern and stability, but this also suggests that life unfolds linearly. That we take the same unconscious routes among clearly defined paths, and that there is an order between our experience and the people we come into contact with. The painting reflects the human mind and behaviour, spontaneous encounters that occur outside of these assumed patterns of activity.
My paintings are a preservation of place and response to personal observations. Everything is connected. The process reflects the question, the narrative, and the concern. Layers show history, a struggle or an attempt to cover up that history, but human presence is felt, and the navigation towards understanding is left behind. What I am interested in far surpasses prefabricated concrete slabs constructed to contain. I am interested in the foundations of Being. When integrated with nature, the city’s infrastructure stands as a metaphor to explore all that we perceive as separate. The construction site is a place for rebuilding.
Link to Graduate Thesis:
Creating Structure: The Complexity of Making, Dwelling, and Being. http://hdl.handle.net/2429/76281