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Iowa City, IA
United States

Statement

     More than likely, we will not experience the same events in our lives, but we will probably feel many of the same emotions. For myself, storytelling serves as a way of connecting with others emotionally through a variety of experiences. I create characters and objects that are part of a larger context exhibited in an installation environment. The objects I create are not wearer neutral, they implicate the wearer; for example, a liar’s mask or a horse’s bit, submits the wearer directly into the role of the character. The wearer then becomes part of the story, activating an immersive environment for both the performer and the viewer. The stories expressed through my installations explore sexuality, partnership, femininity, behavior, communication, and misunderstandings in an attempt to better connect with others and understand myself.  

     My stories are derived from memories of relationships existing or past; that could range from ex-lovers to my relationship with my sister. Memory is a mixture of emotion, dream-content, sensory experiences, and perspective; making it nearly impossible to recount an event with exactness. This allows my work to dance on the line of reality and fiction, resulting in fable-like narratives. Fables allow for strangeness and absurdity; consider animals sitting around the dinner table or inanimate objects chattering on the mantle. The beauty of absurdity is that it can seamlessly blend humor and tragedy. In my work, humor offers an access point for the viewer, while the seriousness of the situation is slowly revealed through the performance of the story. Absurdity can promote acceptance of even the toughest of lessons because it disrupts expectations and natural tendencies, highlighting perspectives that may have not otherwise been considered.

     I am interested in jewelry’s ability to serve as a vehicle for revealing narratives. The broadest objective of jewelry as an art form is to impact or complement the story of the human body. It is an objective informed by inherent material value and psychological/emotional value. The latter determined by relationships, interaction, personal history, legacy, and gesture which I explore through performance. I believe positive and negative environments have the ability to manipulate our perception of ourselves just like something physically attached to us. My research centers on how body adornment can reflect personal psychology as influenced by a given environment and the potential for the objects within that space to respond as witnesses to further illustrate stories within an installation. 

      I create objects using a combination of technology and hand-skills. I start by drawing blueprints for objects using Rhinoceros 3D modeling software; I then use those drawings to guide my hand fabrication process, which could involve anything from piercing and sawing, cold-connections, welding and soldering to casting or forming. I work with a variety of materials from rubbers, plastics and fabrics to brass and silver. Most objects I create incorporate a machined component from either the CNC mill or the CNC laser. The conversation between the machine and the hand is important - the defined edge of a machined component lends credibility and emphasis to the hand’s translation of emotion, sincerity and history.