Despite my short stature, I am a teller of taaall tales! While there is much truth in the stories I tell, many times it is exaggerated or embellished to construct fantastical depictions of reality. The overall theme of these narratives is personal identity, which is heavily influenced by my upbringing on a farm. The dualities of rural life, particularly blurred gender norms, growth and decay, and the restoration of the well loved, contribute to the numerous layers of conceptual development in my work. Agrarian based ideas of resilience, adaptation, tradition, community, and preservation, also play a role in this process.
To illustrate my narratives I employ simple imagery, creating objects and spaces that include every last detail. They do not begin as grandiose tales, instead I choose mundane items and daily activities as a starting point, assigning new meaning and elevating them through alteration. Typically this results in comedic contradictions of material, functionality or commonly associated characteristics. This absurd merging of opposing messages is most obvious in my work that is a fusion of masculine and feminine ideas, addressing my paradoxal personality. Visual characteristics of the Midwestern landscape and architecture, such as saturated color palettes, unobstructed, subtle topography, agricultural and mechanical features, geometric patterns, and rustic wear and tear are apparent in the aesthetic features of my work as well.
The tangible rendering of my work is achieved through a variety of media and techniques. Materials are initially chosen to suit the concept or the object being created, with consideration given to the physical outcome. Relating to the performance of exhaustive story telling, I am most drawn to media that require meticulous methods to transform, for instance cast metals and smithed steel. Likewise, the materials I use relate in some way to childhood activities, both on the farm and in the home, including fabricated steel, reclaimed wood, dirt, fabric, and fibers. I also enlist found objects and collections as components in my work, taking into account what they may contribute symbolically and visually.
Often dictated by process and manipulation, trial and error, the final product of my creative endeavors are works rich in proud, blue-collar sentiment. It is my intention that the objects and spaces I create resonate with the viewer, evoking feelings of nostalgia even if not directly linked to the viewer’s personal life experiences. In addition, my works are meant to be whimsical, humorous and produce unexpected, unusual reactions, generating anecdotal exchanges between the viewer and the work.