My world of artmaking is deeply immersive. I cross the wires of intention and chance to see what will happen, and the resulting shock rings me like a bell. I am struck, hollowed out, reverberating, transfixed until interrupted by dinner or some other distraction, whereupon my reaction is and always will be “five more minutes.”
I am dedicated to creating a visual, metaphoric language about water and the ocean, synthesizing years of witnessing the undersea wilderness as a scuba diver. In ways that are provocative, but more poetic than didactic, my work engages with major environmental issues including drought, sea level rise and ocean plastic pollution.
The organic processes of life behaviors, gender fluidity, reproduction, and death in marine creatures and their environments inspire me. These processes are timeless, unsentimental; outside of humans’ shifting cultural and political values. They continue with or without us. I trust their beauty, their indifference, their violence and integrity.
Like an octopus, each of my arms has its own brain. The thoughts in my hands guide me: knotting and tying, cutting, sewing, and binding, I make each sculpture in cycles of repetition and improvisation. I utilize fishing nets, fish and crab traps, and bait baskets; though porous, they carry the weight of phantoms. They speak to life, death, struggle, capture, escape, despair, longing, and elation. They enable my formal and narrative exploration of transparency, weight and weightlessness, color, texture, and volume.
My mind is in the gutter; constantly looking for plastic straws and lids in the street and on the beach. Along highways and at gas stations, I gather fallen urban fruit from the filthy orchard of our consumer culture. I insist that plastic trash such as salvaged nets, rope, straws, lids and other objects can be beautiful as material for artwork, forcing us to confront the possibilities of what we thoughtlessly discard, giving agency to the rejected as it assumes space in the realm of cultural dialogue, alluding to what is overlooked and wasted.
The ultimate meaning of my work resides in engaging viewers while remaining elusive, in making personal and poetic connections to the conflict between nature and a culture of consumption. It speaks to our present era of the Anthropocene. It makes no predictions as to its outcome.