My artwork attempts to portray the uncomfortable ‘in between’ state, between having a voice and being muted, between having a body and not having one, between being caught and trapped or liberated, between life and the inevitable dissolution of it. Also, particularly with regard to women, the subjugation of the woman’s voice is an important theme for me, so it is made quite audible, expressing the anguish, using fictive or non-fictive characters, employing universal narratives, and aligning with existing ones, whether it be, for example, Ovid’s Philomela (from ‘Metamorphoses’) or the fairytale, Rapunzel. The female voice continues to be a threat to the status quo given the violence directed at it; the suffering is pervasive, especially since we cling to anything but the ‘in between’ and these meta-narratives against personal freedom are what drive humanity in circles. I have employed many artistic disciplines in reverence to and compelled by these themes.
Performance has been my primary art practice for years, strongly emerging during my residency at Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Then, while pursuing my MFA at Cal Arts in Visual Art, I also got my master’s in Voice (music) and did spontaneous or staged performances with sculptures, video, and audio, all in the service of investigating the voice and the existence (or ‘non-existence’) of things. More recently, I have turned to a studio practice of painting and drawing which further explore the placement of the voice, frequently using a lone figure to confront different environments or dwell beyond the negation of them. It’s still a performative act via the physical gestures of myself or an animated object as the central figure. Tandem to my art practice, I have spent much time studying yoga and Buddhism which intensify and compliment my artistic compulsion to try and understand the nature of this ‘in between’ state and the uncomfortable place within which a voice resides.
Hey, try to open up your heart
To beauty; go to the woods someday
And weave a wreath of memory there.
If the tears obscure your way,
You’ll know how wonderful it is to be alive.
from “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”
© 1944 Schocken
“my self, abandoned and devoid of shame, through the wide world your actions will proclaim: Or though I’m prisoned in this lonely den, obscured and buried from the sight of men, my mournful voice the pitying rocks shall move, and my complainings echo through the grove.”
”art makes up what fortune has denied.”
from Philomela, Ovid’s Metamorphoses
Why do they shut me out of Heaven? Did I sing too loud?