land, expanded and abstracted by memory Series of gouache paintings, 5" X 5.5", 2013-ongoing
I paint to navigate new understandings of land and place. On Earth, land is inseparable from the life that inhabits it. From the fossil record, to soil teeming with biota, to a weedy concrete corner, land is not a neutral ground where I simply find myself standing. It is a complex heritage of evolution, ecology, and physical forces. An essential part of my process is researching the climatic, biological, and geophysical processes that shape the land.
A "place" can be thought of as a conception of land that has been expanded and abstracted by culture, imagination, or memory. Whereas traditional landscapes use the horizon line as the organizing principle, my paintings depend on “presence” and its interlocking relationship with “absence.” Painted areas of dense, obsessively proliferating patterns evoke ideas such as survival and preservation, colonization and invasion, direct experience and mindful focus. These painted sections exist in relationship with blank spaces that, through stark contrast, suggest extinction, loss or gaps in the record, or forgetting.