The concept of self as it relates to my body has fueled my work throughout the length of my art practice. Through an exploration of unconventional approaches to self-portraiture, I have arrived at an investigation of the abstraction of my body & the fragmentation of identity as a form of self- escape rather than self representation. I use different printmaking & art-making processes to depict both the veiling & abstraction of my body or ironic, violent narrations that use dark humor to make light of my fears. I use my body & the impressions it makes as a “readymade” in my relief prints. the figurative work explores the development of a visual vocabulary that codifies my various pathos. These themes speak to my compulsion to escape from my physical discomforts & psychological discord. The tracking of time in my work reflects my anxieties surrounding mortality & my desire to exert a measure of control over my fragile physiology. The multiplicity or magnitude in scale of the work addresses my preoccupation with & the significance of these fears. Sculptures, performances & film allow an ancillary entry into my personal mythology that echo & contextualize the impact of my prints
I am fascinated with the idea of juxtaposing fast and slow, cutting edge and time-honored traditions. In my studio practice, this manifests through the creation of my large-scale portrait blocks. Inspired by the work and philosophy of Marcel Duchamp, I begin a composition by creating a ‘readymade’ of my body, coating it with ink or paint and creating impressions on a large woodblock that I then react and respond to expressionistically. This cathartic inception is typically followed by week or months of detailed, minute carving. I interpret the painterly drawing I created with my body and gestures; converting paint and color to multiplanar, monochromatic relief. The blocks are carved and printed by hand. The resulting prints resemble Modern-era action paintings. Only upon closer examination is the evidence of craft and labor perceived. Thus, the final image recalls the immediacy and tempo of its initial generation, achieved through painstaking work by hand and tool, rather than paint and gesture. I look to the work of artists including Yves Klein, Janine Antoni, and Victoria Van Dyke in my research. My investigations using this process have started to includes using other bodily readymades for image creation, exploring the performative aspects I undergo when composing the blocks, and expanding the subject matter from solely myself to portray other people or groups. My long term focus is on capturing and performing this process on film and in person, expanding the intersections of process and performance.
Beyond my own studio I’m also exploring the utilization of contemporary 3D printing technology with traditional letterpress printing methods, and Printmaking Animations. In much the same way that I create imagery that looks fast but is accomplished slow, I’m interested in exploring the use of digital processes to design and print letter forms and images that are then sorted, assembled and printed on a hand-fed letterpress. Intrigued partially by the story of the recovery of the Doves Type by Robert Green in 2013, I became interested in the realization of a conceptual font into tangible type. I’ve been researching 3D printing, experimenting with materials for 3D printing that can withstand the pressures of going through the letterpress, and designing a 3-part lecture series on integrating digital design, typography and 3D printing into fine art courses to be presented at Kennesaw State University in the Fall of 2016. I will be a faculty advisor to advanced printmaking students exploring printmaking animations using After Effects for the NCUR and SGCI conferences in 2017.
I am committed to promoting and nurturing diversity & inclusion in all of my teaching and art practices. As a queer, Southern, female artist, I draw upon my own intersectional experiences and perspectives to conduct nonjudgemental and reflective classroom dialogue where appropriate. I structure my lectures and assignments to include a wide range of artists spanning gender identity, cultural heritage, race, age, and educational background. I research local and contemporary artists to contextualize & localize student learning in my courses. I model respectful and thoughtful engagement of new ideas or alternative opinions, and make sure my students understand my classrooms are safe spaces for exploration - both mentally and creatively.
For historical & contemporary sources of study, the field of printmaking has a rich compliment of diversity. Some of the earliest extant examples of printmaking include Mesopotamian & Egyptian stamped clay tablets, Chinese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints on silk, and the Korean Jikji, the oldest book printed with moveable metal type. Printing techniques traveled west along the spice trade route, resulting eventually in the European printing boom, exemplified by Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the letterpress. Silkscreen originated in Japan, and was taken up in France and eventually San Francisco. Contemporary print practitioners worthy of study and inspiration can be found all over the world, and I make it a part of my teaching practice to introducemy students to as many artists of diverse cultural, ethnic, and regional heritage as possible.
To lead my classroom into recognizing, analyzing and celebrating diversity and equity, I model the behaviors that promote nonjudgemental dialogue and active listening. Where possible, I set up my class space to create circular or U-shaped seating arrangements, creating a welcoming classroom environment that encourages engagement and participation. I respectfully share personal anecdotes that illustrate how I’ve successfully, or sometimes unsuccessfully, handled issues that arise in classroom dialogue, and how I apply that gained knowledge. I provide many types of assignments and participatory opportunities to help as wide a variety of students as possible engage with class material and with each other. This includes online discussion forums and prompts, hand-written reflections, small group discussion and entire class discourse. I make it a point to introduce the ideas of growth mindset and the benefits of cooperative, rather than competitive, interactions. At all times I strive to be a role model not through my flawlessness, but through my honesty, trust and shared goal-setting in the classroom.
My studio practice reflects my interest in feminist & gender studies and my own queer identity. Pulling from these lenses as an artist and scholar, I am committed to ensuring my classroom and office are safe spaces for students, colleagues, and fellow community members.