Species of Space / 12' tall / used clothing, zipties & internal metal frame
All thrift store rejects, the clothing used to create this structure has been discarded by the previous owners. My interest in these as material came from thinking about our physical legacy, what we leave behind. The desire to diagnose how these articles came to this point is seductive. Unidentifiable stains, lost buttons, children's clothing discarded because it simply may no longer fits - in stuttering, incomplete ways, these tell stories of their previous owners.
I am also interested in developing sensory experiences for the viewer that hopefully encourage thoughtful exploration. Gallery echoes disappear upon entering, light changes from ambient to falling down from above, the smell, and even the unfamiliarity of the confining, curved walls - all these depart from standard expectations of how architecture operates.
I think of this not so much as building, but as re-building. Using the castoffs, the discards of our material lives to make shelter, it creates a large, strange self-portrait of all of us, and it has a redemptive quality I am interested in.
Cardboard Forest / 30' x 30' x 10' / cardboard, glue & tape
Working with Maori Carving students, I directed this collaborative project at the Wairiki Institute of Technology, in Rotorua, New Zealand. The decision to use cardboard was made before arrival, but the works' physical form was decided post-arrival. Students and I decided upon a surreal re-imagining of what this area might have looked like 500 years ago, with a little ironic humor in using paper to create tree forms.
Functionally, cardboard is a material that is durable, lightweight and relatively cheap - all desirable characteristics for constructing large temporary structures. Conceptually, it is a transitional material, primarily used to safely and efficiently transport more valuable products from one location to another. In terms of this project, the purpose is metaphorically similar, as the value of this installation resided in its ability to serve as a vehicle for exchange between project participants.
After the conclusion of this exhibition, the forms were disassembled and materials recycled, leaving no trace of our collaborative intervention within the gallery beyond photographs and our memories. The power of this work was not in the making of a permanent object, but in the dialogue this project facilitated.