In our contemporary world of affluence, the prevalence of homelessness in our country affects me deeply. The reasons for homelessness are often layered with issues of abuse, mental illness, drug addiction and poverty, weaving a web that it is impossible to unravel or find a core element to repair. The resulting misery is painful to watch and difficult to address. The proximity of homelessness is a slow reveal of an awareness for many of us that “it could happen to me.”
I investigate these issues of homelessness through my art from a deeply personal and public perspective. I have witnessed the homelessness of a close family member, and it has influenced who I am as a person and as an artist. I am inspired to make art that highlights social issues with dignity and compassion. In my art, I scrutinize materials and explore how materiality effectively communicates emotions. I seek to have a visual language that both reveals and hides the evidence of a painful existence.
As I make my art, I have chosen to use unconventional materials that often have no structural basis, such as insulation foam and deteriorating recycled objects, therefore needing wire and thread to be held together. My forms refer to clothing that is multi-layered and transparent. Is it a traditional form of dress we wear to present ourselves – to make us blend in or stand out? Or, is it a covering that protects us or hides who we are and are slow to reveal?
My artwork offers no solutions but rather a pathway to deeper understanding and compassion.