The work I make is connected to rural landscape and culture. I grew up in a farming community at a time when the model of big agribusiness was rising. The affected rural communities changed rapidly as small family farms adapted to industrialized agriculture. Transformation, for good or bad, made a permanent impression on me.
The subjects of my work are caught in a state of transition. Images begin with a natural form and once the piece has been started I am only really concerned with how its physical state progresses. I allow myself many failures, then explore the unintended consequences. Often the by-product of initial attempts contains profound meaning and navigating the passages can be more significant than the finalized state.
My current work with cyanotypes began as a way of implying the lost of traditional livelihoods through the documentation of hand tools and vintage glassware unearthed in local gardens. Cyanotype printing is a cameraless photographic technique dating from the early 1840’s , the same era as the found objects would have been commonplace. Used historically to make botanical records of plant life, then later blueprints, I find cyanotype printing combines the accurate representation of direct observation and poetic aftermath of a shadow image. The work I make with cyanotypes addresses the alchemy of change itself. The transformative nature of the process embodies the very idea of transition and metamorphosis.
In having a varied approach to making art; drawing, printmaking, cyanotype, and installation, the work is set in a context to have an impact on the work’s relationship to the viewer. “Leylines of Ghosted Trees”, a 2018 installation references the disappearance of Acadian forests. Placed adjacent to a hiking trail, a river of cloth printed and saturated with cyanotype solution, flows between softwood trees reminding passing hikers of a presence lost of what was once old growth forest blanketing the region. Part of Woodlands an ongoing series , the cyanotype surface, partially buried for five months, subject to the uncontrollable – weather, wildlife and human interaction- inadvertently engaged other elements from the landscape recording the unobserved environment over time. Like the erased parts of a drawing, the surface both held and shed debris from the landscape, which functioned as residue of the physical inscription of place.
The fact that I continue to work within the representational genre is a choice. I am fascinated by the representational element. There is much room for large and small space, for both intimacy and distance within the same work. I never feel constricted or boxed into a dead end by iconic objects or landscapes. Though physical objects appear defined, ideas surrounding them are limitless.