Handmade Paper of American Lotus and Abaca, Steel, Concrete 17 Sculptures Dimensions variable These kinetic sculptures interpret the American Lotus plant, designated a “nuisance” by the Missouri Department of Conservation. The sculptures depict the color pallet of the plants as they begin to desiccate in fall as the ponds water recedes. They gently sway on the steel bases.
The investigation of ecological relationships within society and the landscape is the root of my current work. As an interdisciplinary artist, I create works that resonate with the materiality and rhythms of the natural world. My creative practice intertwines the sculptural manipulation of handmade paper, found objects, printmaking, photography, new media, and books arts. I am an observer, collector, fabricator, and instigator of thought and haptic experience. Throughout my creative process I employ techniques that crisscross the boundaries of contemporary craft, sculpture, installation, and digital media.
My interest in the contemporary craft movement stems from my passion for the art of hand papermaking. I have refined my expertise of this art over the last twelve years and utilize my knowledge of this historic craft to create work in a contemporary context that transforms invasive plant fibers into works of art. This process of collection and transformation allows for these plants to be honored as living organisms while simultaneously engaging and educating viewers about the importance of invasive-species awareness. I collaborate with scientific communities to engage in a dialog that seeks to discover how artistic practice can influence scientific methods and how scientific methods can influence artistic practice.
Research, both material and scholarly, is a critical component of my studio activities. Collecting, testing, and discovering the properties of these invasive plant fibers and insect species informs my artwork. I begin by investigating the history of the landscape where these species thrive. By also studying the history and systems that these species embody I am able to develop content and reveal the relationships I discover in the drawings, sculpture, and books I create. This distinct process of material selection also allows me to physically embed elements of regional specificity and conceptual implications into my work. My work is placed based, inspired by the desire to interpret the landscapes of disrupted, invaded ecologies and natural phenomena.
I create art that art can address and engage people with the natural world, and connect with the physical actions of a growing, living environment. This, in turn, can inspire communities and individuals to care and foster the growth and revitalization of our landscapes and their natural systems.